2012 Ford Focus ST development moves to the track

Article by Christian Andrei, on May 10, 2011

Ford’s Team RS and SVT engineering teams are currently placing a fleet of about 60 pre-production prototypes of Ford Focus ST through rigorous testing and development on the most demanding roads in North America and Europe in order to fine-tune the driving dynamics and performance of the vehicle. Focus ST will be launched in 2012.

Jost Capito, Ford’s director of Global Performance Vehicles, disclosed that the new Focus ST is the company’s first global performance model. The vehicle model must live up to the reputation of Ford for producing cheap but exciting and sporty variants of the company’s compact vehicles, Capito added.

He further disclosed that the engineering groundwork for the vehicle model has already been performed and they are now using some of the most demanding roads in North America and Europe for the punishing testing and development regime.

The new vehicle model will be powered by a high-performance variant of the new 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine, targeting an exhilarating 250PS. At the same time, it will deliver a significantly better fuel economy than the previous generation of Focus ST.

Chief program engineer Matthias Tonn at Ford of Europe’s Global Performance Products stated that fuel efficiency is a key leadership goal for Ford Motor Company internationally.

He added that the company wants to be the leader even with a performance vehicle, thus, it is doing its best to blend fuel economy and high power in the new ST model. Just recently, the team has finished testing the vehicle model through the demanding cold weather in northern Europe and rigorous tests to refine steering performance.

The development of the new Ford Focus ST is headed by Team RS performance experts in Europe, who are able to take advantage of their engineering expertise and experience with popular cars like the previous ST models and the highly-regarded RS series.

Jost Capito, Director of Global Performance Vehicles, said that the new Focus ST will become Ford’s first true international performance automobile and they are thrilled to give customers around the world a preview of the company’s renowned ST heritage. The new Focus ST, like its predecessors and the RS cars, will be tested extensively on the Nürburgring track, the speedy German autobahns, and on classic British B-roads.

European drivers should find the Ford Focus ST to remain uniquely sportive and performance-oriented, as the ST line has been throughout its history.

North American and Asian customers, who have been clamouring for and asking when Ford’s compact performance cars will be available in their regions, can finally experience the pleasure of driving the Focus ST when it becomes available soon.

Ford EcoBoost Power: Greater Performance and Efficiency

The core of the all-new Ford Focus ST’s charm is the high-output 250 PS version of the newest and most efficient 2.0 litre Ford EcoBoost 4-cylinder petrol engine.

Replacing the turbocharged 2.5-litre 5-cylinder engine found in the older European variant, the 250 PS Ford EcoBoost engine promises to be a unique and optimum powerhouse for the Ford Focus ST that ensures its energetic performance and distinctive sound. It is the first 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine to be used in a performance-oriented Ford automobile.

The main difference of the 250 PS unit from the 2.0 litre Ford EcoBoost version found in other Ford vehicles is the modified intake and exhaust systems, as well as a new engine calibration that provides the appropriate power level for proper responsiveness. It still produces a strong torque output as with other EcoBoost engines – up to 360 Nm in this case.

The all-new 2.0 litre Ford EcoBoost petrol engine is more compact and efficient, with less CO2 emissions. Its lightweight aluminium construction incorporates three key technologies: high-pressure direct injection, twin independent variable cam timing and low-inertia turbocharging. In all, this is an innovative combustion system capable of power and fuel efficiency unprecedented in similar-class petrol engines.

Metrically, the 250 PS engine increases power by 10 per cent over the current 2.5-litre unit engine, while also decreasing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by over 20 per cent.

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