Though crossovers are slowly tearing into the market for hatchbacks, Europe’s demand for hot hatchbacks is still insatiable. Already Ford sells the standard Focus ST and Focus RS in the European market but still feels there is a gap they haven’t filled. The automaker thinks there is too much of a gap between the ST and RS since the standard ST comes with a 250 hp power-train while the RS power-train churns out 350 hp.
As such, Ford needed an intermediate performance model. Bearing this in mind, we immediately concurred that Ford had finally decided to bring in the intermediate model when we saw a mysterious Ford Focus doing its test runs at the Nurburgring testing cycle. Although details about the Focus are still scanty, all things point to the intermediate Focus model. Having already showcased an intermediate performance Fiesta i.e. the Ford Fiesta ST200 at the recent Geneva Auto show, a similar model for the Focus lineup seems likely. Read along to find out the information we have managed to gather about the 2017 Ford Focus ST280:
2017 Ford Focus ST280 Exterior
From far, the prototype our spy photographers caught up testing looks like the Focus ST. However, on taking a closer look, one realizes it has an aerodynamic kit which is usually a reserve for racing vehicles. The new aerodynamic kit features a pair of winglets at each corner at the front and a slim splitter at the bottom of the front bumper.
Unlike the front, the rear is not identical to the Focus ST. The automaker has introduced a fresh look to the spoiler as well as added a new-look rear bumper. To complete the performance add-ons will be a set of new lightweight alloy wheels wrapped in performance tires.
As said earlier, the new model will have a stiffer suspension which features new shock absorbers and springs both in front and at the back. There will be also larger brakes than that of the ST to help bring the slightly more powerful hatch to a halt.
2017 Ford Focus ST280 Interior
As of this writing, there is no official information about the new Ford Focus ST280 interior styling. Our photographers did not manage to get closer to capture shots of its cabin. However, in order to bridge the gap between it and the Volkswagen Golf GTI as well as to justify a price hike the model’s cabin must be upgraded. Most likely, the automaker will derive inspiration from the Fiesta ST200.
If this is the case, expect the cabin to feature Charcoal leather upholstery on its Recaro seats. Others features will include new ST280 badges, revised door panels and repositioned controls and door handles. There will also be a huge touch-screen and illuminated scuff plates. The cabin will accommodate five passengers. Other features of the standard Focus ST will remain.
Engine Specs and Performance
Under the hood, the upcoming 2017 Ford Focus ST280 will feature the same engine as the standard Focus ST. The engine is an EcoBoost 2.0 L, 4-cylinder engine. In the ST, this engine produces 252 hp and 270 b-ft of toque. The engine has been tweaked to produce more power in the Focus ST280.
Going by the nametag, the Focus will put up 280 PS which is 276 hp; a 24 hp improvement from the Focus ST. the engine will also produce 295 lb-ft of torque, 25 lb-ft more than the Focus ST.
As you would expect, the increased output translate to a better performance. The new model will have a better acceleration from 0-60 mph. We expect the new model to do this run in around 5.7 seconds up from 5.9 seconds in the Focus ST but top speed is likely to remain at 154 mph. As for the transmission system, the vehicle will most likely use the same 6-speed system in the ST. We are not sure if an automatic gearbox will be offered. The suspension of the vehicle will be stiffened compared to that of the ST.
Fuel economy numbers are not available at the moment but we expect the model to return some impressive figures. We will notify you once this information becomes available.
Price and release date
Since the vehicle slots between the Focus ST and Focus RS it is safe to assume that its price will slot between the two models. The Focus ST starts at $ 22,000 while the Focus RS starts at $ 36,000. Therefore, a starting price of around $ 27,500 is likely.
The 2017 ford Focus 280 will be released to dealer showrooms in the last quarter of 2016 after a showcase in one of the upcoming international auto shows. Most likely, Ford won’t sell the ST280 in North America.
The Volkswagen Golf GTI is the ST280’s top competitor in this performance-oriented segment.