Why we’re active it: In the absence of a new RS, is the latest Focus ST acceptable abundant to be brash a aboveboard flagship fast Ford hatchback?
2020 Ford Focus Rs St
Welcoming the Focus ST to the agile – 8 July 2020
I accept been a fan of fast Fords for as continued as I’ve accepted how to drive, a actuality I owe about absolutely to my acquaintance Ben. He was a somewhat better-resourced jailbait than I, which meant that while I chugged about the abode in a continued assumption of aged, arthritic acerbic wrecks that were asleep apathetic alike aback new, Ben had a Ford Fiesta XR2. The original: white paint, annular headlights, pepper-pot auto and humble tyres. I was absorbed from the moment I collection it.
Of course, the fortunes of accelerated Ford hatchbacks accept ebbed and flowed over the years, but I anticipate the aggregation has been consistently acceptable of backward at bearing a acknowledged cord of cars that amalgamate speed, acknowledgment and aloof a blow of back-to-basics bluntness aloof in case you were anytime acceptable to balloon that, aloft all, these are cars of the people. So I’m attractive advanced to the months to appear abaft the caster of this new and absolutely awfully orange Focus ST.
Anyone who’s paid absorption to the long-termers I’ve run on these pages for the aftermost abounding years will apprehension they’ve all had absolute abstaining colours in common: aphotic dejection and greys mainly. This is not a coincidence: I accept no admiration to be noticed active any car at all. I can bethink swapping a BMW i8 for a 911 a few years aback and delighting in the anonymity the Porsche provided.
Well, I’m acutely not activity to be accepting any of that here. But I assumption if you’re activity for an abandoned colour, you ability as able-bodied go the accomplished way, and it ability as able-bodied be on a fast Ford. Needless to say, however, this was not a colour I chose – it aloof came that way. Indeed, I had no best in the blueprint at all added than to assert the car came with petrol rather than agent power, auto rather than acreage bodywork and chiral instead of automated gears.
2020 Ford Focus Rs St
So aback it angry up and I started to advance and crowd about, I was abashed by the bulk of aliment and accessories that had been loaded assimilate it, aggregate from radar-controlled cruise ascendancy to a acrimonious council wheel. Ford columnist cars acclimated to be accepted by journalists as ‘Bob Wright Specials’ acknowledgment to above (and absolutely brilliant) Ford columnist agile man’s predilection for loading his cars with every accessible option, so I anticipation this ST ability be some affectionate of accolade act to the afresh retired Bob. But no: it’s all standard.
I’ll allocution added about this at greater breadth a little bit added bottomward the line. In the meantime, be brash that, orange ‘Fury’ acrylic aside, the alone absolute options this car carries are a wireless charging pad and Ford’s Performance pack, which provides barrage control, a clue mode, rev-matched downshift and an upshift indicator, all for a piffling £250. The car had alone done 150 afar by the time it arrived, about all accrued on its way from Ford’s UK arch appointment in Essex to my home in the Welsh borders, so it will be a while afore I get to drive it in the way I doubtable it will anon beg to be driven. And I’m absorbed by the powertrain.
The agent is a four-cylinder unit, but sourced from America area it’s added usually begin in the entry-level Mustang. Its 276bhp achievement sounds rather modest, decidedly aback you accede its 2.3-litre accommodation – bethink Mercedes is now announcement way added than 400bhp from aloof 2.0 litres – but the devil appears to be in the detail.
A low-inertia twin-scroll turbo promises accelerated acknowledgment and added torque than some far added able competitors, including the Honda Civic Type R, the Mercedes-AMG A35 and the Volkswagen Golf R. It additionally has a anatomy of anti-lag technology on it, area the airflow into the agent can be captivated accessible for up to three abnormal afterwards the disciplinarian lifts off, acceptation the turbo compressor caster is not slowed. And again there’s the differential, which is finer an e-diff: accessible best of the time as you would want, but able of locking up and sending bisected the ability to anniversary advanced caster to maximise traction.
This, then, seems to be abundant added than aloof addition accelerated hatchback. It may attending somewhat blatant but abysmal bottomward it seems that engineers accept anticipation adamantine about how a car like this should behave on the alley and not aloof gone bottomward the headline-grabbing route, which, with the ability that agent could acutely deliver, they could calmly accept done.
2020 Ford Focus Rs St
So far, and acknowledgment to Covid-19, it’s alone done abbreviate bounded journeys, but as the country opens up, so will its horizons be bald back. What will it be like to alive with about to, say, a Golf R? How will its administration analyze with the above Civic? Will the already accessible cheapness of some of the berth fitments accomplish me ambition I’d gone for an A35 instead?
I accept no bigger abstraction than you what the answers to all these questions ability be. But I’m already attractive advanced to award out.
The aftermost Ford Focus we had on our agile was a eyes of anonymity. It was an ST-Line model, chargeless of the ashen acrylic and associated adornment of Andrew’s full-fat ST. I’m aflame to acquisition out how its accomplished address is acute in ST anatomy – alike if it does beggarly cartoon absorption to myself.
2020 Ford Focus Rs St
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Specs: Price New £32,510 Price as tested £33,660 Options Orange Fury acrylic £800, Ford Performance backpack £250, wireless charging £100
Test Data: Agent 4 cyls, 2261cc, turbocharged, petrol Ability 276bhp at 5500rpm Torque 310lb ft at 3000-4000rpm Gearbox 6-spd chiral Kerb weight 1468kg Top acceleration 155mph 0-62mph 5.7sec Fuel abridgement 34.4mpg CO2 179g/km Rivals Volkswagen Golf GTI, Renault Mégane RS, Honda Civic Type R
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