Ford wants to assure fans that they are hard at work developing the new Focus ST, which they refer to as the global performance car, by releasing details of its testing.
The new ST will go on sale in Europe and America in 2012 and they are evaluating its performance in various conditions by putting a fleet of around 60 pre-production prototypes through a punishing regime of testing and development to fine-tune the car’s driving dynamics and performance.
Ford’s RS and SVT experts from Europe and America are studying prototypes to make sure it delivers high standards both a performance machine and a user friendly hatchback that can be used everyday. That’s why they test the car on California highways just as they do on the Nurburgring.
The new Focus ST will be powered by a high-performance version of Ford’s new 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine, targeting an exhilarating 250PS, while still delivering significantly better fuel economy than the previous generation Focus ST. The car features unique technologies like the Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) system to unique, or driver-orientated seats to offer an exhilarating driving experience.
“The new Focus ST is eagerly awaited around the world, which is appropriate as this is our first global performance model,” said Jost Capito, Ford’s director of Global Performance Vehicles. “It must live up to Ford’s reputation for producing affordable yet exciting and sporty versions of its smaller cars that reward and delight enthusiast drivers, but can also be used every day.
“We’ve done all the engineering groundwork, and now we’re using some of the most demanding roads we can find in Europe and North America to validate and fine tune the performance and driving dynamics.”
“Fuel efficiency is a key leadership target for Ford Motor Company globally. We want to be class-leading even with a performance vehicle, so we’re working on getting the best possible blend of high power and fuel economy from the new ST,” said Matthias Tonn, chief program engineer, Global Performance Products, Ford of Europe.
Recently, the development team completed demanding cold weather testing in northern Europe, as well as exacting tests to refine steering performance.
“We’re fine-tuning, testing, and fine tuning again many of the small but critical details to make sure it is worthy of the ST badge,” Tonn said. “We will build upon and improve the ride, steering and handling strengths that defined the current European Focus ST.”