As I sat around lamenting the departure of the fun little Volvo C30 hatchback from US soil, my friends at Ford assured me they had a new car that would make me forget all about the saucy Swedish runabout, and they were right.
Goodbye C30 – hello Focus ST!
Yes, Ford’s global Sport Technologies medical staff delivered the perfect prescription for my hot hatch blues by rolling in here with the new five-door Focus ST boasting 252 horsepower, 270 lb. ft. of torque and a top speed of 154 mph – all the while delivering more than 30 mpg on the highway.
Reminiscent of the MAZDASPEED3 and the VW GTI, Focus ST features a host of performance goodies that all work hand-in-hand to deliver an exhilarating driving experience, whether you are running to the store for milk and toilet paper or heading to a club run autocross event.
The experience begins under the hood with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine backed by slick six-speed manual gearbox sending power to the front wheels and offering a user-selectable AdvanceTrac traction and stability control system you can dial in to enhance your street or track experiences.
The car looks as good as it drives, thanks to sporty 18-inch alloy wheels and Goodyear F1 sport rubber and the Ford ST team adds a unique trapezoidal grille along with sculpted side skirts and a rear bumper with diffuser-style vents in the lower fascia.
Inside is even more dynamic, thanks to Recaro sport bucket seats up front and bold contrast color scheme. A set of ST gauges top off the sporty cockpit and includes a turbo boost gauge.
Pricing begins at $23,700 for the new little Ford tuner. Our test model arrived in the ST2 package that included the MyFord Touch technology, but I am glad to see Ford allowing consumers to opt out of this should they so desire. I, for one, would so desire as driving the Focus ST is about driving and not having a relationship with the in-dash electronics.
The Focus ST works fine as a daily driver and will not draw sour looks from your neighbors as the exhaust note is fairly tame, unless, of course, you come screaming into your driveway or parking garage operating near redline with the turbo boost gauge screaming “I’m giving her all I’ve got, Captain.” Yeah, you know what I’m talking about.
Yeah, Bon Voyage Volvo…and hellooooooo Focus ST.