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Focus ST Overboosts Initial Impressions

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On: Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 2:14PM | By: Chris Salamone

Focus ST Overboosts Initial Impressions

The only thing new age car junkies like more than hatchbacks are hot hatchbacks. With that said, the market for sub $30,000 tire-shredding utility boxes is pretty limited. Amidst a worn grouping, including VW GTIs and sluggish Subaru Imprezas, Ford has decided to once again prey upon its limping competition with the second coming of the company’s Focus ST. For months now, we’ve heard lots of good things. And Ford isn’t letting up anytime soon.

In short, the Focus ST continues to impress – especially now that we know an ‘overboost’ feature will be assimilated into the vehicle’s turbocharged engine. Please, oh pretty please, can we also get a Men in Black-type little red button?

The specs indicate that the 2013 Focus ST will produce 252 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. Early reports suggest that pricing will start around $25,000 and climb to just below $30,000 for fully equipped models. Interestingly, though, Ford didn’t just slap on a turbo and call it a day – even under such a tight performance car budget.

Instead the vehicle’s overboost feature extends peak torque for periods of 15 seconds, when the going gets rough. From 3,000 rpm to 4,500 rpm, overboost tech pumps 7.4% more output relative to the un-overboosted EcoBoost 2.0-liter we’ve come to know and love.

Thinking ahead, some buyers may worry about the dangers of pushing turbochargers too hard. Ford was quick to address the issue in a recent press release. “We limit peak turbo boost to maintain a wide margin of safety and durability over the life of the car,” stated Lisa Schoder, Marketing Manager for the Focus ST. “But overboost is cool in that it tweaks more acceleration through the turbo for brief periods for performance-hungry drivers.”

The two keys to balancing a healthy, long-surviving turbocharger are proper cooling and moderation of use. Ford’s integration of a “very robust cooling system” and limiting overboost to a mere 15 seconds should go a long way in maintaining turbo integrity.

As if fancy technology and fair pricing weren’t enough, Ford will be giving buyers who preorder the first 1,000 Focus STs – from May 1 to August 20 – a GoPro HD Hero2 Motorsports Edition camera upon delivery. And that makes sense, especially considering Ford’s latest advertising push to use consumer-sourced content in the streets of Key West.

Camera or no, this is one hot hatch. Throw in a reasonable price tag, overboost, and an engine with a track record of success and industry competitors might find themselves quickly outpaced.

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dwalter | 2:19PM (Thu, Jun 14, 2012)

Apples and oranges, I know, but it'd be a lot easier to justify spending that much on the Focus ST than the BRZ/FR-S.

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