2012 Ford Focus ST Testing

Now that the new gen Ford Focus is officially launched and the excitement about it has settled, Ford is teasing us with a new, high performance version of the car. And there’s a lot to be excited about with this car.

It is the latest Ford Focus ST which is currently under development all across the globe from California highways to the Nurburgring. Ford has dispatched a fleet of 60 test mules to evaluate the car in various conditions and make sure the final product is an uncanny hot hatch with global standards. It will go on sale in Europe and America sometime in 2012.

When it arrives it will be powered by a 250 PS 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine, and comes with a range of high-tech electronic stuff for a great no-compromise drive. It will also be more efficient than the previous model.

focus st mule 11 2012 Ford Focus ST Testing

The new Focus ST seems to be a very nice car, but it’s not the best version, since there will be an even hotter RS model later on.

Details about the car’s test sessions in Ford press release below:

If a new Ford Focus with an eye-catching paint job, ground-hugging suspension, big wheels and tyres and a tell-tale central rear double exhaust passes you on the autobahn, chances are you have seen one of the development prototypes for the new high-performance Focus ST launching next year.

In Europe and North America, Ford’s Team RS and SVT engineering teams are putting a fleet of around 60 pre-production prototypes through a punishing regime of testing and development to fine-tune the car’s driving dynamics and performance.

“The new Focus ST is eagerly awaited around the world, which is appropriate as this is our first global performance model,” said Jost Capito, Ford’s director of Global Performance Vehicles. “It must live up to Ford’s reputation for producing affordable yet exciting and sporty versions of its smaller cars that reward and delight enthusiast drivers, but can also be used every day.

“We’ve done all the engineering groundwork, and now we’re using some of the most demanding roads we can find in Europe and North America to validate and fine tune the performance and driving dynamics.”

The new Focus ST will be powered by a high-performance version of Ford’s new 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine, targeting an exhilarating 250PS, while still delivering significantly better fuel economy than the previous generation Focus ST.

“Fuel efficiency is a key leadership target for Ford Motor Company globally. We want to be class-leading even with a performance vehicle, so we’re working on getting the best possible blend of high power and fuel economy from the new ST,” said Matthias Tonn, chief program engineer, Global Performance Products, Ford of Europe.

Recently, the development team completed demanding cold weather testing in northern Europe, as well as exacting tests to refine steering performance.

“We’re fine-tuning, testing, and fine tuning again many of the small but critical details to make sure it is worthy of the ST badge,” Tonn said. “We will build upon and improve the ride, steering and handling strengths that defined the current European Focus ST.”

With the new Focus ST, a key focal point for the Ford development team is to deliver an even more engaging driver experience – from its highly tuned Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) system to unique, driver-orientated seats.

“The seats and seating position were very good in the previous Focus ST, but the new model is sleeker and the driver will sit lower. The new seats which will provide even more support,” Tonn said.

The all-new Focus ST is Ford’s first global performance car, conceived under the One Ford strategy. It brings the ST performance badge to North American and Asian customers for the first time.

“Like the Focus ST and RS models before it, the new Focus ST’s final set-up will be achieved after painstaking tuning on some of the most demanding roads we can find from California to the Nürburgring, and from high-speed German autobahns to classic British B-roads,” Capito added.

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