Ford stopped selling the Focus in the United States as it pivoted towards pickups, SUVs, and crossovers, but the nameplate lives on overseas. It recently spawned a limited-edition variant billed as the most agile ST model to date.
Unveiled in the United Kingdom, the Focus ST Edition was designed to be equally at home on the road and on the race track. It's based on the fourth-generation hatchback, and it gains several enthusiast-approved upgrades including Ford Performance-tuned KW Automotive coil-overs, 19-inch alloy wheels that reduce unsprung weight by 10%, and a hydraulically-activated electronic limited-slip differential. Ford notes the adjustable coil-overs reduce the ride height ever so slightly, and it points out its engineers increased the spring rate by 50% over the standard ST.
Visually, the ST Edition stands out from other, not as track-friendly versions of the Focus with an exclusive Azur Blue exterior color and contrasting high-gloss black accents. Slip behind the wheel, and you'll spot blue contrast stitching and a red ST ignition button while sitting on Recaro sport seats partially upholstered with leather.
Ford made no major mechanical changes to the ST Edition, meaning power comes from a turbocharged, 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 280 horsepower and 309 pound-feet of torque. It spins the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. Hitting 62 mph from a stop takes 5.7 seconds, and the ST's top speed is limited to 155 mph.
On sale now, the 2021 Ford Focus ST Edition starts at £35,785 in the United Kingdom (about $49,200 at the current conversion rate). Each example will be delivered with a suspension tuning guide that explains how to adjust the coil-overs for a variety of driving conditions, including the Nürburgring track in Germany, where the ST was tested.
As it stands, the ST is the spiciest Focus flavor offered on the other side of the pond. Ford hasn't resurrected the fire-breathing RS yet, and unverified reports claim the model won't return due to tight emissions regulations.
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