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2020 Ford Focus ST revealed, confirmed for Australia

By Chris Thompson, 18 Feb 2019 News

2020 Ford Focus ST revealed, confirmed for Australia

Ford’s Golf GTI rival touted as “the most Jekyll and Hyde” ST yet

The 2020 Ford Focus ST has been revealed globally, with Ford Australia already confirming to MOTOR a local arrival in early 2020.

Significant output increases, the addition of several new developments from Ford Performance, and a broader range of driving characteristics are what Ford hopes will bring the new ST into the ring with its rivals.

The 2.3-litre EcoBoost turbocharged four, down on power from the Focus RS which it featured in but still with a respectable 206kW and 420Nm, is up 22kW and 60Nm from the 2.0-litre powerplant of the previous ST.

Ford expects a 0-100km/h sprint in less than six seconds.

2020 Ford Focus ST driving

A 147kW/400Nm diesel engine will also be available overseas, but Ford Australia says that won’t be coming Down Under, nor will the ST wagon.

For the first time ever in a Focus ST Australians will have the choice of either a six-speed manual, with ‘killable’ rev-matching and a seven per cent shorter shift throw than standard models, or seven-speed automatic transmission. Previously, only manual STs were sold locally.

Delays for Focus ST's little brother: Australian launch for Fiesta ST held back

Ford Performance has also thrown a host of new additions at the Focus ST including adaptive dampers, or Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD) in Ford-speak, and an electronic LSD between the front wheels.

2020 Ford Focus ST manual shifter

The breadth of customisation to each drive mode that these additions allow has led Ford Performance’s European director Leo Roeks to call the new Focus ST a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ car.

“Intelligent technologies like eLSD and CCD make our all-new Focus ST the most ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ yet, able to switch from refined tourer to focussed performance car at the push of a button,” says Roeks.

“We’ve incorporated learnings from programmes including our Ford GT supercar and the acclaimed Focus RS to develop a mid-size performance car with a degree of flexibility that’s unique in its segment.”

When in its more performance-oriented modes (Sport and Track), the Focus ST’s new anti-lag system, which Ford says was originally developed for the Ford GT supercar, keeps the throttle open during lift-off for gear changes to avoid falling ‘out of boost’.

2020 Ford Focus ST side

A set of Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres will come as standard with the new Focus ST, developed specifically for this model, allowing more grip when using the launch control mode available with a ‘Performance Pack.’

Stopping is also improved, Ford says, with larger 330mm by 27mm front discs with dual callipers and 302mm by 11mm rears.

The exterior of the new ST, as seen in a set of leaked images published by MOTOR late last year, features revised aerodynamic elements over standard Focus models, with front grilles also optimised for better cooling, and a rear roof spoiler designed for more downforce.

Ford also admits its previous single-tailpipe design affected its performance… as a tow vehicle. For those needing to haul gear, this Focus ST has dual pipes.

2020 Ford Focus ST interior

Inside, the Focus ST is adorned with either leather, cloth, or a mix of leather and Miko Dynamica (suede-like microfibre, similar to Alcantara), with an aluminium gear knob and scuff plates. Extra ST-specific design elements separate its interior from than of a lower-spec Focus.

Ford Australia says the Focus ST will be on sale locally in early 2020, but hasn’t specified pricing or availability limits yet.

The previous ST sat just below the $40K mark, and the new one enters with more kit, so don’t be surprised if a $40K-plus asking price is standard.