Ford tweaks the Focus ST for 2015 with a fresh look, a tighter suspension, and a diesel option!
By Steve Turner
Photos courtesy of Ford Motor Company
If you were looking for a completely new Focus ST to roll into the Goodwood Festival of Speed, you might be a little disappointed. However, if you love the hot hatch like we do, you might just appreciate the styling refresh and suspension enhancements offered by the 2015 Focus ST.
â€œSince itsÂ debut, Focus ST has been bringingÂ ourÂ fun-to-drive DNA to the hot hatch segment with aÂ uniquely FordÂ blend ofÂ driving dynamics,Â performance and style,â€ Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development, said.Â â€œNow, withÂ improved dynamics, anÂ updated suspension,Â new styling and a more sophisticated cabin, we expect the 2015 Focus ST will remain theÂ hottestÂ hatch worldwide.â€
While we held out hope for a bump in horsepower courtesy of a turbo upgrade, the engine performance remains status quo. As we said, Team RS did tweak the handling, and those improvements come courtesy of new front springs and revised front and rear damper tuning. The Electric Power Assist Steering tuning was also enhanced to make use of the revised suspension tuning.
â€œWe are proud Ford has long enjoyed a reputation for producing performance hatchbacks with superb driving dynamics, and the new Focus ST furtherÂ ups the ante,â€ Raj added. â€œThe engineering enhancements to the suspension and steering deliver greater responsiveness, agility and precisionâ€”all of which will reward the performance enthusiast with an exhilarating driving experience.â€
Of course, the apparent change to the â€™15 ST is the styling refresh, which carries over inside out. Most obvious are the new headlights, rectangular foglights, new hood, and revised fascias, front and rear. The nuances arenâ€™t drastically altered from the outgoing version, but keen performance fans will notice them right away.
â€œThe design of the new Focus is stronger and sportier, and that allowed us to make the new ST even more aggressive and dramatic,â€ Moray Callum, Ford group vice president, Global Design, said. â€œThe front bumper is deeper, the honeycomb upper grille is higher and more upright, and the lower grille is larger. The deeper rear bumper really emphasizes the width of the car.â€
To really set your â€™15 apart, you can opt for two new over-the-top striping options in Satin Black or High Gloss Red. Matching mirror caps are included with the stripe option as well. One other way to distinguish the latest ST is the new paint option, Magnetic Metallic, which displaces Ingot Silver from the palette.
Inside, designers made over the center stack and console with fewer buttons to improve the ease of use and increase storage. In deference to the sporty driving this ST is intended for, the â€™15 features a flat-bottom steering wheel for improved leg clearance. Those in northern climes might opt for the newly optional heated version of this wheel.
We canâ€™t wait to get behind that flat-bottom steering wheel to see if these updates are for the better.