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New Ford Focus ST Gets Fine-Tuned

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On: Mon, May 16, 2011 at 11:33AM | By: Chris Salamone

New Ford Focus ST Gets Fine-Tuned

Prototypes of the new Ford Focus ST are dotting the globe in an international effort to release Ford’s first global performance car, which brings the same ST performance to both North America and Asia for the first time. But before final production, Ford must put the new Focus through a painstaking tuning process including some of the most demanding roads found from California to Nurburgring, and from German autobahns to backcountry lanes across Great Britain. Fans of the new Focus may even catch a glimpse out on the road. If a brand-spanking-new Focus crosses your path with a snazzy paint job, lowered suspension, larger wheels and tires, and the enduring symbol of sportiness—a central rear double exhaust—then you’ve just experienced a taste of the latest performance vehicle from Ford.

Ford’s RS and SVT Teams are assembling a fleet of 60 prototypes to test throughout Europe and North America. The prototypes are a hodgepodge of enhanced new vehicles and, occasionally, prior-generation ST models. While testing is clearly a priority for Ford, so is publicity. But what’s to hide? There’s no shame in showcasing a brand new product’s testing process, especially if that product is going to have a boldly stated ST badge.

Jost Capito, Ford’s director of Global Performance Vehicles, recently noted that the new Focus ST “must live up to Ford’s reputation for producing affordable yet exciting and sporty versions of its smaller cars that reward and delight enthusiast drivers, but can also be used every day. We’ve done all the engineering groundwork, and now we’re using some of the most demanding roads we can find in Europe and North America to validate and fine tune the performance and driving dynamics.” The new ST looks to be powered by Ford’s new 2.0L EcoBoost engine, with a high-performance twist which is estimated to put out a palpitating 246 hp and better gas mileage than previous models.

Even more interesting, Ford intends for the new ST to have an improved driver experience as well. The whole experience includes a highly tuned Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) system, better seats and seating position.

Capito concluded with a suggestion for fans. “Keep your eyes open for our prototypes as we work on delivering a Focus ST driving experience that will delight performance car fans around the world.” Truthfully, there probably isn’t a better way to generate buzz about an upcoming sports car —buyers need to know their performance Focus can handle the Nurburgring.

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