Ford has detailed some of the performance aspects of the all-new Focus ST, the hot hatch that has been the most consistent in trying to unseat the Volkswagen Golf GTI. Based on the all-new Focus, the ST has seen a bump in power as well as performance. But most interesting for us here in Mzansi, it will also be offered with a new gearbox.

So Ford South Africa is still reporting that they are not entirely sure if the new Focus will be sold here. However, we have confidential verbal confirmation from two insiders that it will indeed launch in Mzansi this year. And if they launch the normal Focus, surely they cannot exclude the ST?

Anyway, so the Focus ST carries a new 2.3-litre turbocharged EcoBoost engine, same as the one found in the baseline Mustang. In this instance it musters 206kW, up from the previous 184kW. Peak torque is now 420Nm, making this the most powerful Focus ST ever mass-produced. Ford – who have kept the car’s traditional front-wheel-drive layout – reckons it will be able to dash from standstill to 100km/h in just 5.7 seconds, which is 0.8 seconds quicker than before. These figures apply to the standard 6-speed manual. Top speed is 250km/h.

As stated above, there is a new transmission to go with this and it’s a 7-speed automatic. No further details still available at this stage, but we do expect it to launch quicker than the manual, not only due to the standard anti-lag system and Launch Control, but because modern automatics are able to change gears much quicker than humans can. More importantly we also believe it will sell better than the manual, considering that the GTI DSG has consistently outsold its manual sibling 9:1 over the years.

“The all-new Focus ST is about more than just straight-line speed, but the ability to go toe-to-toe with the now legendary Focus RS over a quarter-mile sprint shows just how much the Ford Performance team has moved the game on in the last four years,” said Leo Roeks, Ford Performance director, Europe. “We’ve drawn inspiration from the Ford GT supercar, F‑150 Raptor pick-up, Ford Mustang and Fiesta ST to develop a Focus ST capable of punching you in the back the moment you hit the throttle.”

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