And now, Ford has made it official, with the first showing of the 2012 Ford Focus ST this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
The turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine makes 250 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque, is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, and gets a lowered sport suspension, 18-inch alloy wheels, and low-profile performance tires. Sculpted side skirts, a roof spoiler, a center exhaust exit, and air diffuser give the ST a very different look--as do its more flamboyant colors such as the Tangerine Scream hue shown here.
Expect the 2012 Focus ST to take on the Mazdaspeed3, Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart, and Subaru WRX, as well as the Audi A3 and Mini Cooper S.
Browse through the adjacent gallery, direct from the show floor, and stay tuned, as we hope to get behind the wheel of a Focus ST very soon.