After Ford killed the SVT (Special Vehicle Team) back in 2005, its U.S. market lacked a high-performance version of the compact Focus until the ST hatchback debuted for the 2013 model year. Last year, all Focus models, included the ST, earned an appearance freshening that included rectangular headlights, a more sculpted hood, new flat-bottomed steering wheel, and new racing stripes. During 2016, Ford is expected to release the hotter-yet RS model, which has been available in Europe for years but never before at American dealerships.
What's New for 2016
Little has changed for the 2016 model year.
Choosing Your Focus ST
Buyers need not be bogged down by excessive choices when shopping for a Focus ST. Only one drivetrain is available, highlighted by a 2-liter turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder engine that whips up 252 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. This engine mates exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission, delivering power to the front wheels, as in all Focus models.
A Focus ST can accelerate to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds, and achieves an EPA gas-mileage estimate of 23 mpg in city driving and 32 mpg on the highway.
With no engine or transmission options, the only choices to be made are from the three trim levels. ST2 and ST3 are officially extra-cost option groups, building upon the basic ST hatchback.
Like the Focus ST models that came before, the 2016 edition is practically a “steal” in its base-level (ST1) format. In fact, it's our personal pick of the lineup. Additional features would do little to make the performance-oriented Focus ST a better car, unless you simply cannot survive without leather or GPS assistance.