2019 Ford Focus ST – First Look

Ford announced in April of 2018 that it would be phasing out all of its cars from the US market by the year 2020 with the exception of the Mustang and some sort of Focus Cybertron Active situation. For those of us who enjoy driving for the sake of driving but wanted something more practical than a Mustang this was unwelcome news.  This meant we would no longer be able to purchase the newest versions of Ford’s performance hatchbacks.  The Focus RS eluded the US market for years. Ford finally brought it to the American market in 2016, just 3 years ago.  Now, almost a year since Ford made its announcement, reality is setting in with the reveal of the all new Ford Focus ST, which won’t be offered in America.

The 2019 Focus ST rides on Ford’s new C2 architecture and will go on sale in Europe in Summer of 2019.  Ford is calling it the most responsive and agile Focus ST ever, for both the road and the track.  The use of an electronic limited-slip differential in a front wheel drive Ford for the first time should help assist in this claim. Capable of sending up to 100 percent of torque to either wheel, the eLSD is manufactured by Borg Warner and it makes us wonder if it may be closely related to the system found in the ST’s natural competitor, the Volkswagen GTI. That system has been around since 2013.

There will be a 5-door and wagon body style available. A 2.0-liter turbo-diesel making 187 horsepower and 297 lb-ft of torque will be one of the engine options for the ST. However, the engine that will warm the hearts of enthusiasts is a 2.3-liter turbocharged four with 276 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque.  This is the same size configuration found in the previous Focus RS and those are some solid numbers considering the last American Focus ST made 252 horsepower and 270 lb-ft.  Ford says 60 mph will be reached in less than 6 seconds.

Power will be transferred through either a six-speed manual or a new seven-speed automatic transmission.  Selectable drive modes are offered on the Focus ST for the first time and in conjunction with Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD) should provide added levels of refinement and customization. The CCD monitors suspension, body, steering and braking inputs every 2 milliseconds to give the best possible ride quality and driving dynamics.

Styling changes include an updated upper and lower front grill for better cooling.  The rear spoiler is larger and has a steeper angle that increases downforce.  The old center exhaust system is replaced with a dual exhaust system that allows the 2019 Focus ST to tow.

The available performance pack will add the eLSD, adaptive dampers, rev-matching for the manual, a track mode in addition to the slippery/wet, normal, and sport selectable chassis modes, and red brake calipers.

Driver assist technologies include:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Speed Sign Recognition and Lane-Centering
  • Ford’s Adaptive Front Lighting System with camera-based predictive curve light and sign-based light that pre-adjust headlamp patterns for improved visibility by monitoring bends in the road and – for the first time in the industry – road signs
  • Active Park Assist 2 that operates gear selection, acceleration and braking in addition to steering, to enable fully-automated maneuvers
  • Ford’s first Head-up display to be offered in Europe
  • Evasive Steering Assist technology that helps drivers steer around stopped or slower vehicles to help avoid collisions

The Ford Sync 3 system has voice control, an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Mobile Wifi hotspot is also available. The interior gets Recaro seats with either cloth, leather, or partial leather and Micro Fiber material.

18-inch wheels are available in Dark Sparkle and Magnetite designs. 19-inch Magnetite wheels are also available.  Color options are Ford Performance Blue, Orange Fury, Frozen White, Magnetic Grey, Race Red, Ruby Red, and Shadow Black.

The 2019 Focus ST should be a joy to drive.  After finally receiving hot hatches such as the Ford Focus RS and Civic Type R, it’s disappointing to see the American market go backwards.

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