Special Coverage

Frankfurt Auto Show

Ford tomorrow will show the production version of the much-anticipated Focus ST performance car, but a surprise awaits attendees at the Frankfurt auto show in the form of a new Focus ST wagon.

The wagon is destined only for European markets, while the 5-door version will be offered in more than 40 markets beginning next year.

“We know many European buyers favor the carrying capacity of a wagon, but still want the driving excitement and performance a 5-door can offer,” Matthias Tonn, chief program engineer for Focus ST, says in a statement.

In keeping with the auto maker’s One Ford strategy, the Focus ST will be sold in all markets with only minimal changes to meet local regulations and customer requirements.

Both ST models will be powered by a 2.0L direct-injected turbocharged 4-cyl. EcoBoost engine producing 250 hp and 266 lb.-ft. (360 Nm) of torque.

Mated to the engine is a 6-speed manual transmission with revised steering to provide maximum performance, the auto maker says.

The engine is expected to cut carbon-dioxide emissions and fuel consumption by more than 20% compared to the previous 5-cyl. European-spec Focus ST.

To ensure a sporty exhaust note, engineers reworked Ford’s “sound symposer,” a mechanical sound box found on the previous Focus ST that amplifies engine-generated frequencies.

“People loved the sound of the previous Focus ST,” Jost Capito, director-global performance vehicles, says in a statement. “The physics and acoustics of a 5-cyl. engine compared to a 4-cyl. are very different, but like Beethoven and Mozart, both of whom created fantastic yet very different music, we believe the engine note of the new Focus ST will delight enthusiasts in the same way.”

Enhanced handling comes courtesy of the newly developed Ford Sport Steering System, a variable-ratio steering rack designed to increase agility at high speeds.

The system is tuned to make the steering less sensitive when driving in a straight line, but increases sensitivity during cornering. It also has benefits in slow-speed situations, such as tight parking maneuvers, with less input needed from the driver, Ford says.

The steering setup complements the tuned sports suspension. The 5-door gets upgraded shock absorbers, and springs lower the chassis by 0.3 ins. (10 mm) for a more aggressive stance and a lower center of gravity.

The rear suspension of the 5-door and wagon differ slightly. As in the base-model wagon, the ST version features angled shocks, which Ford says are needed to maintain optimum capacity in the luggage compartment.

Both STs get a new signature production color – Tangerine Scream – as well as more traditional choices, such as Performance Blue, Race Red and White.

Body modifications include a “1-piece design interpretation” of Ford’s signature trapezoidal grille, as well as sculpted side skirts, a rear bumper with diffuser vents in the lower fascia and a roof spoiler.

Interior details range from specially designed pedals, steering wheel and gearshift to Recaro seats.

Both the Focus ST 5-door and wagon will be offered in Europe in three trim options: ST1, ST2 and ST3.

Ford says precise details on the trim levels will vary by market, but notes the ST1 is the standard model, with features such as Recaro seats, while the ST2 adds automatic temperature and headlamp controls.

The top-of-the-line ST3 includes heated leather Recaro seats, bi-xenon headlights and a new Recaro rear bench.

Focus ST pricing has yet to be announced.