Ford testing 60 Focus ST models around the world

Filed under: Spy Photos, Performance, Hatchback, Ford

ford focus st mule

Ford Focus ST testing – Click above for high-res image gallery

We’re looking forward to getting our hands on the ST variant of the Ford Focus, and why not? We Americans have had no choice but to sit back and watch while our overseas comrades got to have all the fun behind the wheel of high-performance Focii, which made the hot hatchbacks the forbidden fruit we tend to crave.

Ford promises that the U.S. will finally have a chance at the next-generation ST, which should supply at least 246 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque courtesy an EcoBoost 2.0-liter mill. The only problem is that the high-pot Focus ST is still a year away, but that doesn’t mean we won’t see test mules traveling the highways and test tracks around the world.

Ford tells us they have 60 ST models testing everywhere from California to Germany’s Nürburgring. The testers may look like last-generation ST or more pedestrian current-gen Focus models, but the big wheels, low profile and double exhaust passes will show that the mules are anything but ordinary.

Matthias Tonn, who heads performance engineering at Ford of Europe, says that the testing is needed to make the next ST shine, adding that engineers are “fine-tuning, testing, and fine tuning again many of the small but critical details to make sure it is worthy of the ST badge.”

And just because the ST will be a performance hatch doesn’t mean Ford isn’t keenly focused on fuel economy as well. Tonn says the goal is to produce class-leading fuel economy even with a performance variant. Mixing fuel efficiency and performance is no easy task, but Ford is banking on a thrifty EcoBoost engine and fuel-saving technology like a finely tuned Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) system to do the trick.

While the Focus ST is still a way away from production, Ford provided some “spy photos” of an ST mule during testing in Germany, which you can peruse in our high-res image gallery. Hit the jump to read over the Ford press release.

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Ford testing 60 Focus ST models around the world originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 10 May 2011 18:55:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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