I’m in Ottawa to participate in Ford of Canada’s 2013 Performance Vehicles Program. There isn’t just one new high-performance model here, but several including the Mustang V6 and GT (both in coupe and convertible form) plus the track-happy Boss 302 and powerhouse Shelby GT500. The 2013 Focus ST is in attendance, too. And, since it’s been years since Ford has had a Focus I’d want to drive, when finally given the chance to have at it in the forthcoming all-new high-performance ST model, I’m all over it like white on white rice.
Powered by a specially-tuned two-litre EcoBoost engine that makes 252 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque, the North American models can reach 96.6 km/h (60 mph) in 6.5 seconds. Not Earthshattering by any means, but quick nonetheless and the quickest Focus ever offered this side of the pond. And, that’s not all. The ST engine comes with an “overboost” feature that allows the turbocharger to produce more boost for up to 15 seconds at a time for an extra burst of acceleration when the throttle is wide open. The result is up to 7.4% more output in the sweet spot of the powerband from 3,000 to 4,500 rpm. It’s similar to IndyCar’s Push-to-Pass feature, which the series reintroduced a new version of in Toronto this season, and is useful for overtaking maneuvers.
The roads leading to the track are twisty and chock full of major elevation changes – quite bumpy and technical in places. It’s hot and dry out and the ST is loving every minute of its intercourse with the roasting tarmac ribbon. The redesigned intake and tuned exhaust sounds are fueling my desires to push this car hard, but I’m heading to the track to test out a bevy of Ford Mustangs, so I opt not to break any road rules.
Read my full review on Ford’s 2013 Performance Vehicles on the PRN Motorsport Magazine Web site.