2012 Ford Focus ST: Los Angeles Auto Show Preview

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It's finally here, although Ford still hasn't quite said when it will go on sale in the U.S. Right now, all we know is "next year."

But the 2012 Ford Focus ST, to be sold not only in the U.S. but 40 other countries too, looks like it will be worth the wait.

If you're a regular MotorAuthority reader, you know the Focus ST has been extensively teased, first appearing as a concept at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, reprising that appearance in Detroit this past January, and showing up in performance videos too.

The production version was confirmed to be coming to America, and duly showed up a year after the concept previewed, when the 2012 Focus ST was finally announced at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show in September. We even brought you live shots from the show floor.

Now Ford has released details on the U.S. version, powered by a specially tuned version of its 2.0-liter EcoBoost direct-injected and turbocharged engine mated to a six-speed close-ratio gearbox.

Ford Focus ST, launched at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show

Ford Focus ST, launched at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show

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At a preview event this week in Detroit, Ford's SVT chief name engineer Jamal Hameedi quoted the Focus ST's engine outputs at 250 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque.

It offers drivers a "broad, flat torque curve," he said.

Underneath, the hot-hatch Focus rides on uprated shocks and dampers as part of its sport suspension--and, of course, special 18-inch alloy wheels and wide, low-profile tires--while the entire car is lowered compared to a stock 2012 Focus.

Body upgrades include a single front trapezoidal opening with a mesh grille, sculpted side skirts, a rear roof spoiler and diffuser vents in the rear bumper that incorporates the center-exit exhaust.

Ford Focus ST, launched at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show

Ford Focus ST, launched at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show

Enlarge Photo

The 2012 Ford Focus ST will be offered only as a five-door hatchback in the U.S. Sadly, we're not likely to get the very cool Focus ST wagon on this side of the pond.

The "signature color" for the ST Focus, Ford says, is the "exciting and energetic" Tangerine Scream. Other available colors include Race Red, Performance Blue, Tuxedo Black, Ingot Silver, and Oxford White.

Inside, the most noticeable upgrade are the Recaro seats with their signature bolsters, to hold occupants in place while the driver throws the car around.

For the full Ford press release with all the details of the 2012 Ford Focus ST for the U.S., see the next page.

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