Say hello to the Ford Focus ST ‘Edition’ - the most honed hot-hatch in the firm’s entire range.
The regular Focus ST is already something of a petrolhead’s favourite, offering the choice of either a 280 PS 2.3-litre EcoBoost petrol engine or a potent 190 PS 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel mill instead.
The biggest addition to the Edition, as opposed to common-or-garden Focus STs, is a two-way adjustable coilover suspension system, produced by motorsport specialists KW Automotive.
The ST Edition will be delivered to customers boasting a factory chassis configuration that's been ‘extensively tested and developed by Ford Performance, including at Germany’s Nürburgring Nordschleife’.
But if you’re a tinkerer, you can then further tailor the suspension settings to your precise driving style, or the environment you plan to be throttling through.
Overall, the Focus ST Edition’s ride height is lowered 10 mm front and rear compared with the standard Focus ST. But you then get a further 20 mm of adjustment to play with, while spring rates are increased by more than 50 per cent compared with the standard Focus ST.
There are twelve ‘jounce’ settings, the degree of upward damper movement allowed as the wheel contacts a bump in the road, and 16 rebound settings, aka the speed at which the damper returns to position after an upward movement, giving you some proper control of the car’s cornering responses.
And if you’re concerned about attempting a tweak and ultimately making a mess of it, worry not - the ST Edition comes with a handy technical handbook, giving you all the advice and guidance you need.
Another big selling point of the ST Edition is its lightweight 19-inch alloy wheels, designed to improve cornering precision and coming equipped as standard with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres.
A Ford spokesperson says:
“The wheels are constructed using a flow forming process, which compacts the aluminium alloy to retain tensile strength and increase shock resistance while using less material. Able to more effectively follow the profile of rougher road surfaces and reduce the demand on the Focus ST Edition’s dampers and springs, the lightened wheels improve tyre contact with the road for enhanced grip and responses.”
Like other Focus STs, there’s an innovative ‘eLSD’ limited slip differential that uses hydraulically activated clutches to redistribute up to 100 per cent of the available torque to the wheel with more traction to counteract wheelspin.
Meanwhile the ST Edition gets the most potent 2.3-litre EcoBoost mill, providing 420 Nm of torque from 3,000 rpm to 4,000 rpm and borrowing anti-lag technology from the ballistic Ford GT supercar.
Acceleration from 0-62 mph takes 5.7 seconds - just a second slower than the Golf R - with standing start performance supported by flat-shift capability that holds the throttle open when the clutch is disengaged during upshifts through the six-speed manual gearbox. The Focus ST Edition can reach a top speed of 155 mph.
There’s a host of selectable drive modes available at the touch of a button, including the all-imporant ‘Track’.
And looks-wise the ST Edition comes with a striking Azura Blue paint job as well as part-leather Recaro sports seats and ‘ST’ badges all round.
A Ford spokesperson adds:
“The most dynamic version yet of the fourth generation Focus ST offers true driving enthusiasts the opportunity to tailor the driving dynamics to their personal preference using a Ford Performance-tuned adjustable coilover suspension system.”
It’s available to order now priced from £35,785.
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