Ford has unveiled the Ford Focus ST-R to the European market at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show as the carmaker starts production of the all-new Focus ST. The European debut of the Ford Focus ST-R in Frankfurt is part of Ford’s strategy to lodge a motorsport presence while supporting development across its core global vehicle platforms. A race-prepped yet production-based model, the Ford Focus ST-R closely resembles the Focus ST road car.
Ford Racing in North America built the Ford Focus ST-R for the track as a fully prepared race car powered by a 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine. It features a FIA regulation roll cage, uprated brakes and track-tuned suspension. Ford Racing, supported technically by Ford's Global Performance Vehicles group, tweaked the Ford Focus ST-R to enable to race in different series likes Grand-Am ST, World Challenge TC and Canadian Touring Car Series.
The carmaker also hopes to get customers team to race the Focus ST-R in key motorsport series across Europe as well as major national competition like the 24 Hours of Nürburgring. The new Focus ST-R will soon be available to teams, starting in North America. It was initially homologated for American and Canadian touring car racing, but can also be ordered by seasoned hardcore professional drivers, amateur racers and track day enthusiasts from Ford dealers in North America.
Ford hopes to make the vehicle available to more regions in the future. Customer teams in North America now have a variety of Ford turn-key race cars to choose from including the Focus ST-R, Mustang FR500C, Mustang FR500S, Mustang Cobra Jet, Boss 302R and Boss 302S. It is expected that the development work on the Ford Focus ST-R will result in the creation of Ford Racing parts that will be made available to racers and enthusiasts globally.
The new Focus ST-R adds momentum to the new Focus motorsport story launched by Team Aon in the British Touring Car Championship. The team’s Focus BTCC car and the new Ford Focus ST-R both serve as proof of Ford strategy to help privateers become competitive on all levels. The carmaker Ford launched its global motorsport development program last year.
The program also provides technical support to customer teams competing with global Ford vehicles, giving them access to affordable, globally competitive hardware. Jost Capito, director of Ford Global Performance Vehicles and Motorsport Business Development, remarked that they were delighted with the early success that the Team Aon achieved with the new Focus in the BTCC, adding that they are looking forward to seeing the ST-R in action in global race series.