Ford has tried everything to disguise the fact that a fun, sporty, hopped-up hatchback like this has been missing from North America for quite some time. Alas, the 2013 Focus ST has officially landed. It landed last fall actually. Within weeks it had already been awarded the title of “Best New Sports Performance Vehicle (under $50,000)” as determined by back-to-back-to-back comparisons by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada during its annual TestFest event in October. This honour is not just a tip of the hat to Ford of Canada for getting this hot hatch over here – it truly deserves it!
Performance-wise, its two-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder has some balls, making 252 hp at 5,500 rpm and 270 lb-ft of torque at 2,500 rpm. It is capable of going from zero-to-100 km/h in a respectable 6.9 seconds. When the throttle is wide open for passing maneuvers, the engine’s “overboost” feature allows the turbocharger to produce more boost for up to 15 seconds – it certainly helps when passing from 80-to-120 km/h in 4.1 seconds – and produces a nice, raspy almost Vtec-sounding exhaust note. Its 12.6-inch front and 10.7-inch rear brakes reel it back in from 100 km/h over 40.3 metres – good stuff!
Like I said, the ST has got some balls. It does, however, have issues with torque steer due to its unequal-length driveshafts. Though, good drivers with smooth hands and feet will be able to manage this without terrible difficulty. While it’s true that many high-power front wheel drive cars have issues with torque steer, there just are not that many of them around these days. And, when it comes to the Focus ST, it really adds to the fun factor – especially when it’s being pushed hard around a closed course.
To read my full review of the 2013 Ford Focus ST, visit the PRN IGNITION website!