Ford has developed a special edition of the Focus ST five-door hatchback, with enhanced vehicle dynamics achieved through an upgraded suspension and lightweight wheels. The company says this version of the fourth-generation Focus ST – named the ST Edition – is the “most dynamic yet“, enabling owners to tailor the driving dynamics to their personal preferences using an adjustable coilover suspension system tuned by Ford Performance.
The Edition model carries over elements from the standard Focus ST, including an optimised steering knuckle design, EPAS with two turns lock-to-lock, and a performance braking system with 330mm discs front, 302mm rear and optimised fade resistance.
Edition takes this specification further, with a factory chassis configuration that has been extensively tested and developed by Ford Performance, at sites including the Nürburgring Nordschleife. The setup has been fine-tuned to optimise balance and control through corners while working with the 280PS powertrain.
The car also boasts a two-way adjustable coilover suspension system, produced by motorsport specialists, KW Automotive, featuring twin-tube stainless steel damper housings and powder-coated springs – finished in Ford Performance Blue, naturally. The ride height is 10mm lower at the front and rear compared with the standard Focus ST, with a further adjustment of 20mm available to the customer to suit their specific driving style or environment. The spring rates have been increased by more than 50% compared with the standard ST model.
The Focus ST Edition comes with 12 jounce settings (the degree of upward damper movement allowed as the wheel contacts a bump in the road) and 16 rebound settings (the speed at which the damper returns to position after an upward movement) for greater degree of control over cornering responses.
Of course some owners may get carried away with their dynamics fettling and wish to return the setup to one recommended by the Ford Performance team. Thus the Focus ST Edition is supplied with a technical document providing recommended suspension settings for a variety of driving conditions – including a dedicated setting for the Nürburgring.
The lightweight 19in alloy wheels are claimed to reduce unsprung mass by 10% at each corner of the vehicle. The wheels are manufactured using a flow-forming process, which compacts the aluminium alloy to retain tensile strength and increase shock resistance while using less material. The wheels are equipped as standard with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres.
The eLSD in the Edition uses hydraulically activated clutches to redistribute up to 100% of the available torque to a single wheel, creating more traction to counteract wheelspin. Ford says the eLSD is faster-acting and more precise than a conventional mechanical LSD, meaning it can pre-emptively adjust torque, in response to inputs from engine and vehicle sensors. Drivers can also select between driving Modes, including a Track Mode which gives the sharpest responses and the most freedom within the ESC system – ideal for making the most of those suspension settings.
“The new Focus ST Edition takes the hot hatchback to a new level of handling precision and control,” said Stefan Muenzinger, manager of Ford Performance in Europe. “Not only does it offer increased poise and responsiveness for the enthusiast, but also gives the ability to tailor the feel and handling balance of the car to the customer.”
The all-aluminium 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine uses a low-inertia twin-scroll turbocharger alongside an optimised air intake and exhaust system to deliver 280PS at 5,500 rpm and 420Nm from 3,000rpm to 4,000rpm. Anti-lag technology inspired by the Ford GT supercar and F-150 Raptor pick-up, also delivers even faster power delivery in Sport and Track drive modes.
All this makes the car good for 155mph and 0-62mph (100km/h) in 5.7 seconds, with standing start performance supported by ‚flat-shifting‘, which holds the throttle open when the clutch is disengaged during upshifts through the six-speed manual gearbox.