Every carmaker loves a massive best-seller, and Ford has been basking in the warm glow of worldwide Focus sales figures since the model launch back in 1998, and the successful debut of the all-new Mk 2 cars in 2004. One hallmark of a successful series is the ability to offer buyers almost infinite choice within the range, to cater for every taste.
When it comes to hatchback cars, there must be at least one variety that falls into the ‘hot’ category to satisfy boy racers young and old.
The traditional RS (Rallye Sport) badge is used on Ford’s high-performance variants, and — though produced in relatively low numbers — the Focus RS Mk 1 was a great success. Whilst a new RS was not immediately available when the Mk 2 models appeared in 2004, a stunning concept car was shown in 2008 at the British International Motor Show. In the meantime, the Focus hot-hatch slot has been filled by the Mk 2 ST, which delivers the required combination of performance and price.
Developed by Ford’s UK-based TeamRS racing and performance arm and unveiled in 2005, the Focus Mk 2 ST used the 2.5 litre T5 alloy engine from Ford-owned Volvo’s S40 and V50 models, turbocharged to produce 225 bhp. Suspension and brakes have been upgraded to handle the power. A deeper body kit gives the ST a road-hugging look, with a front apron borrowed from the Fiesta ST, some brushed-aluminium trim and aggressive twin exhaust pipes. The brightly colour-coded interior sports leather bucket seats, an extra instrument pod (colour-coded dials!), drilled alloy pedals and a leather steering wheel with alloy spokes.
Has it been a worthy replacement for the Focus Mk 1 RS? You bet — it scorched around the demanding Nurburgring track a full 10 seconds faster than the no-slouch RS!
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
2,521 cc Straight Five Turbo
Top speed of 150 mph (241 km/h); 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 6.5 secs
YOU SHOULD KNOW:
In the automobile business it’s not enough to reinvent the wheel, for as soon as that’s been achieved it has to be re-reinvented. And so it came to pass in 2008 that Ford offered a go-faster power upgrade for the S2 in conjunction with Mountune Performance.