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New 5-door Focus St is faster, friskier, and great fun

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The new Ford Focus ST

The new Ford Focus ST

The new Ford Focus ST

THE latest buzz words in motoring these days are; "Less is more" and "White is the new black".

Yeah ... Well nobody told Ford.

The catchphrases over at the Blue Oval badge are more "In your face", "Bring it on" and "Eat this".

One look at the new Focus ST just screams hooligan.

Day-glow tangerine paintwork, savage 18-inch alloys with low profile tyres, red brake callipers and gaping mesh grille with ST logo give a hint of its racing pedigree.

Throw in a full bodykit with front splitter, massive rear spoiler and centrally fitted twin exhausts and one starts to realise that this hot hatch does exactly what it says on the tin.

Climb inside and the message is reinforced with half leather Recaro bucket seats trimmed in a matching orange (which was just a little too much for this reviewer), leather sports steering wheel, aluminium gear knob and door sills – all embossed with the iconic badge.

There's a real race car feel to the cockpit with drilled metal pedals, extra turbo and pressure gauges above the instrument cluster and a busy central console trimmed in black carbon fibre.

It's not short on goodies either with the acclaimed SYNC system as standard.

This clever piece of kit is an advanced voice-controlled gizmo which enables the driver to connect a mobile phone, iPod or USB via Bluetooth and can even make an emergency call in a foreign language should the need arise.

But the ST is not about fancy pants accessories – it's all about the drive and the experience.

Considering the latest incarnation has been slimmed down from the Volvo-derived 5 cylinder, 2.5 litre to a 2.0 litre, 4-pot all-alloy EcoBoost turbo unit, the results are absolutely astounding.

Power is upped by 25hp giving this rocket a bonkers 247bhp and a 0-100kph of 6.5 seconds.

The acceleration is neck-snapping and thanks to Torque Vectoring there is an abundance of traction and grip which can be a real bug bear in front wheel drive performance cars.

In fact, the lack of torque steer and mega stopping power puts the Focus top of its class and although slightly out-gunned by the Renaultsport Megane 265, it feels more weighted and composed.

Be careful though, like a hormonal woman the ST will turn on you in a heartbeat if you're not on top of your game.

Outside of pushing her to the limits, the new offering is also a lot more practical and coming in 5-door and estate version means you can be a family man all week and boy racer at the weekend.

The ST is pretty amazing on fuel too – returning a very decent 39mpg (7.2L/100kms) while the CO2 count is down 20pc to 169g/km, meaning annual road tax of just €570.

You'll also be impressed by the price with the ST coming in at €36,800 while the ST2 is €39,100.

Thankfully they haven't produced a diesel version ... the STD just doesn't have the same ring about it.


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