Official: Ford Focus ST, Fiesta ST buyers to get free Octane Academy driving school

Filed under: Performance, Hatchback, Ford

The Ford Focus ST and Fiesta ST have created plenty of excitement in the sport compact segment, and Ford is looking to make sure that owners are driving and enjoying their cars to the best of their abilities. As an added bonus for buying one of these sporty hatchbacks, Ford will provide a complimentary ST Octane Academy session to be held at the Miller Motorsports Park in Utah.

Attendees will be responsible for travel and lodging, but Ford will provide the driving school free of charge. Included in this two-day trip, ST owners will get class instruction and driving instruction in prepped Focus ST and Fiesta ST models on the track and autocross course. Some karting action will also be involved as will a tour of Ken Block’s Hoonigan Racing headquarters located nearby. If this doesn’t sound like enough fun, there is also an optional day of activities that includes some more track time in a Mustang GT and off-road instruction in an F-150 SVT Raptor.

Ford told us that those who have already purchased a Focus ST or Fiesta ST will still be able to attend the performance driving school, but the press release, which is posted below, makes it sound like it applies to original owners only. Ford has yet to announce its schedule for the ST Octane Academy or prices for additional activities or guests.

Continue reading Ford Focus ST, Fiesta ST buyers to get free Octane Academy driving school

Ford Focus ST, Fiesta ST buyers to get free Octane Academy driving school originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 01 Aug 2013 09:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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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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Ford Focus adds on-board WiFi in Europe

Filed under: Europe, Technology, Ford, UK

Ford SYNC Mobile WiFi Hotspot

Ford SYNC Mobile WiFi Hotspot – Click above for high-res image gallery

You might figure that, with a name like Focus, Ford’s compact model would be all about eliminating distractions. But the new global Focus is jam-packed with technology, and the latest among them is a new in-car WiFi system.

The device works with SYNC and MyFord Touch to pick up the signal from a mobile internet dongle or smartphone and share it with as many as five additional devices in the car. This should come in handy for road trips and traveling salesmen, but we hope drivers will be able to stayed focused while behind the wheel.

One way or another, the system appears to be available – at least initially – only overseas in European markets, but we’ll be keeping an eye out for its introduction in the United Sates, as well. In the meantime you can follow the jump to scope out the full details in the press release from Ford’s British subsidiary.

Gallery: Ford SYNC Mobile WiFi Hotspot

Continue reading Ford Focus adds on-board WiFi in Europe

Ford Focus adds on-board WiFi in Europe originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 May 2011 16:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: EVO pits Audi RS3 vs. Subaru WRX STI Spec C vs. Ford Focus RS vs… Ferrari Enzo?!

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Europe, Videos, Hatchback, Audi, Ford, Subaru, Ferrari

Evo Magazine hot hatch comparison

Evo Magazine hot hatch comparison – Click above to watch video after the jump

Occasionally, we can’t help but think we were born in the wrong corner of the globe. With our penchant for diesel fuel, wagons, hatchbacks and forced-induction four-cylinders, something tells us we would have been right at home growing up on the old continent.

Why all this musing on our misplaced youth? The goons at Evo Magazine have just released a new teaser video for the rag’s upcoming issue, and the cover story is rife with all sorts of metal we don’t get to play with here in the Land of the Free. The editors lined up three of the meanest hatchback bruisers available in the EU and matched them up against a mighty Ferrari Enzo. That’s right, an Enzo. Go big or go home, fellas.

The contenders include a Ford Focus RS, a Subaru WRX STI Spec C and the blistering new Audi RS 3 Sportback. For those of you who are keeping score, our chubby yank hands won’t even get close to touching any of that hardware in our neck of the woods. How’d the three musketeers stand up to the might Italian stallion? Your guess is as good as ours. We’ll have to pick up the next Evo Magazine to find out. In the meantime, check out the video after the jump. Thanks for the tip, Georgian!

[Source: YouTube]

Continue reading Video: EVO pits Audi RS3 vs. Subaru WRX STI Spec C vs. Ford Focus RS vs… Ferrari Enzo?!

Video: EVO pits Audi RS3 vs. Subaru WRX STI Spec C vs. Ford Focus RS vs… Ferrari Enzo?! originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 15 Apr 2011 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spy Shots: Ford Focus ST caught cold-weather testing and track tuning

Filed under: Spy Photos, Hatchback, Ford

spy photos ford focus st

Spy Shots: Ford Focus ST test mule – Click above for high-res image gallery

We saw the 2012 Ford Focus ST in the flesh at the 2010 Paris Auto Show, but at the time, the hot-hatch unveiled to the waiting press was merely a close-to-the-real-thing concept version. The production Focus ST should be arriving at an auto show in the near future. Apparently it’s not quite ready, however, because our spy photographers managed to capture Ford engineers working over a mule-bodied example, both at the track and in the snow.

It may appear to be a standard Focus from the outside – note the standard front fascia instead of the show car’s more aggressive look – but a closer inspection reveals a few unique touches first seen on the concept. For instance, a centrally mounted exhaust outlet at the rear expels emissions from the 2.0-liter EcoBoost unit lurking under the hood. Speaking of which, power is expected to be up around 250 horsepower, and the engine will be paired with a six-speed manual transmission.

We hope to see the 2012 Focus ST hitting dealer showrooms by the end of 2011. We also hope to score some seat time before that happens. Until then, we’ll just stare at the spy photos in the gallery below, and dream about the sporty action going on under the suspiciously plain wrapper.

Gallery: Spy Photos: Ford Focus ST

Spy Photos: Ford Focus STSpy Photos: Ford Focus STSpy Photos: Ford Focus STSpy Photos: Ford Focus STSpy Photos: Ford Focus ST

[Source: CarPix]

Spy Shots: Ford Focus ST caught cold-weather testing and track tuning originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 11 Apr 2011 17:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ford shows off 67-mpg Focus Econetic ahead of Amsterdam debut

Filed under: Europe, Hatchback, Ford, Diesel

2012 Ford Focus Econetic

Ford Focus Econetic – Click above for high-res image gallery

We may have the 40-mile-per-gallon SFE trim on the 2012 Ford Focus here in the States, but European eco-warriors will soon be able to sink their teeth into the new Focus Econetic, designed purely with efficiency in mind. Ford claims that the Focus Econetic can achieve up to 80 mpg on the European testing cycle, or about 67 mpg here in the U.S.

Ford’s road to super-efficiency starts with the automaker’s 103-horsepower, 1.6-liter Duratorq diesel engine. That, combined with start-stop, smart regenerative charging, Eco mode and a revised final drive ratio allow this engine to perform as efficiently as possible at all times. For reference, the standard Euro-spec Focus equipped with the 1.6-liter diesel four is good for about 55 mpg (U.S.).

Aerodynamic enhancements consist of active grille shutters on the front fascia, as well as special low-drag wheel covers. We’re all for added efficiency, but it might be nice if these plastic wheel caps didn’t look like they were ripped straight from a 1992 Honda Accord.

The Focus Econetic makes its official debut next week at the Amsterdam Motor Show, with the first examples hitting the streets in early 2012. Both four- and five-door body styles will be available. Follow the jump for the full details.

Gallery: Ford Focus Econetic

Ford Focus EconeticFord Focus EconeticFord Focus EconeticFord Focus EconeticFord Focus Econetic

[Source: Ford]

Continue reading Ford shows off 67-mpg Focus Econetic ahead of Amsterdam debut

Ford shows off 67-mpg Focus Econetic ahead of Amsterdam debut originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 06 Apr 2011 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Autoblog Podcast #223: Ford Focus quality, Japan’s quick road fix, long-term Hyundai Equus, David E. Davis, Jr. passing

Filed under: Podcasts, Hybrid, Chevrolet, Ford, GM, Hyundai, Kia, Electric

Autoblog podcast logo

Click above for the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes, RSS or listen now!

Here’s Autoblog Podcast #223. The crew this week is Chris Shunk, Zach Bowman, Chris Paukert and Dan Roth. Topics covered are Ford’s commitment to the 2012 Focus by giving early cars a 30-mile shakedown drives, Japan’s amazing ability to repair roads in days, the Autoblog long-term Hyundai Equus and the sad passing of David E. Davis, Jr. Your feedback in our Q&A module winds it up, and we’ve embedded that in the post below, as well. Thanks for listening, we’ll see you next week!

Autoblog Podcast #223: Ford Focus quality, Japan’s quick road fix, long-term Hyundai Equus, David E. Davis, Jr. passing

Japanese road crew repairs quaked damaged road in six days
Ford giving 2012 Focus 30-mile quality exam prior to sale
Hyundai Equus Ultimate joins the long-term Autoblog Garage
Auto journalism pioneer David E. Davis, Jr., dead at 80

In the Autoblog Garage:

  • 2011 Chevrolet Volt
  • 2011 Kia Sportage
  • 2012 Ford Focus Titanium


Hosts: Dan Roth, Chris Shunk, Zach Bowman Chris Paukert
  • Runtime: 01:17:50


Get the podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes
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[MP3] Download the MP3 directly

Feedback:
Email: Podcast at Autoblog dot com
Voicemail: 734-288-8POD (734-288-8763)

Review the show in iTunes and take our survey

Autoblog Podcast #223: Ford Focus quality, Japan’s quick road fix, long-term Hyundai Equus, David E. Davis, Jr. passing originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Mar 2011 15:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: 2012 Ford Focus ST is still our orange crush

Filed under: Performance, Videos, Hatchback, Ford

2012 Ford Focus ST

2012 Ford Focus ST hits the road – Click above to watch the video after the jump

We haven’t heard much about the 2012 Ford Focus ST lately, but never fear, it’s still destined for our shores. After all, it would be downright cruel for Ford to not offer the hottest variant of its new global Focus here in the States, especially when we’ve been denied all of the Euro-spec hot hatch fun for so long.

To recap, the Focus ST uses FoMoCo’s 2.0-liter EcoBoost inline-four, good for 247 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. There’s a six-speed manual gearbox to send that power to the ground, and though the car is fitted with front-wheel drive, the automaker’s torque-vectoring power control system is on hand to keep things from getting too squirrely. Inside, there are Recaro sport seats, orange trim and a thick steering wheel that we can’t wait to get our hands on.

Until the Focus ST officially hits the road, we’ll have to satisfy our craving for Blue Oval hot hatchery with this video, which you can view after the break. It’s certainly not the most exciting piece of film ever published on the Interwebs, but it’s enough to make us fall in love with the ST all over again.

Gallery: 2012 Ford Focus ST

2012 Ford Focus ST2012 Ford Focus ST2012 Ford Focus ST2012 Ford Focus ST2012 Ford Focus ST

[Source: YouTube via Carscoop]

Continue reading Video: 2012 Ford Focus ST is still our orange crush

Video: 2012 Ford Focus ST is still our orange crush originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Mar 2011 14:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ford Focus Electric gets connected by AT&T

Filed under: Technology, Hatchback, Ford, Electric

MyFord Mobile App

MyFord Mobile App for the 2012 Focus Electric – Click above for high-res image gallery

Hot on the heels of Audi’s announcement to use T-Mobile for its future wireless data needs, Ford has partnered with AT&T to provide connectivity to the 2012 Focus Electric.

Nearly every EV or plug-in hybrid coming to market will offer some combination of embedded wireless data and an accompanying smartphone app, and as we saw at CES with our exclusive hands-on of MyFord Mobile, FoMoCo will be offering a similar solution for its all-electric Focus hatchback.

The partnership Ma Bell and the Blue Oval involves an embedded wireless connection in the EV that allows drivers with the MyFord Mobile app to keep track of charging, set specific times of the day to juice up (late at night when electrons are cheap) and receive a variety of notifications, ranging from battery status to maintenance reminders.

MapQuest has been tapped to provide charging station locations, range alerts, trip planning and vehicle location, and the MyFord Mobile app also includes the ability to remotely lock and unlocks doors, heat and cool the interior and download performance and system data. And if your phone doesn’t have the app, you can use any HTML5-based or WAP 2.0-supported browser to keep tabs on your EV. Hit the jump for the full details and check out our write-up on MyFord Mobile.

Gallery: Hands On: MyFord Mobile App

Continue reading Ford Focus Electric gets connected by AT&T

Ford Focus Electric gets connected by AT&T originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 22 Mar 2011 19:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Videos: Ford hires wisecracking, handsy puppet to promote 2012 Focus

Filed under: Sedan, Etc., Marketing/Advertising, Videos, Hatchback, Ford, Humor

Doug the puppet as Ford Focus spokesperson

Doug is announced as spokesperson of the 2012 Ford Focus – Click above to watch video after the jump

Ford is very excited about its all-new 2012 Focus. The model will be the focus of a major advertising campaign moving forward, and the automaker has apparently decided to hire a spokesperson to travel the country and talk all-things Focus. Well, we say ‘spokesperson,’ but Ford is going in a very weird direction here because they’ve enlisted the help of a puppet… named Doug.

If you think that sounds ridiculous, you’re not alone. We first heard the concept and nearly spit coffee straight into the screens of our laptops. Then Ford shared the first videos and we again nearly spit out our coffee… because the first clips are hilarious thanks to Doug’s waggish and flirty behavior.

It’s not easy to make a puppet funny, but Ford has gone out and hired some serious talent. The director of the first clip, which you can see after the jump, is none other than Paul Feig. He was a writer on Freaks and Geeks and has directed episodes of The Office, Parks and Recreation, Weeds, 30 Rock and Arrested Development. Paul is not alone on this project, however, as the collective resume of the writing team is filled with titles like The Simpsons, Borat, Reno 911 and Late Night with Conan O’Brien.

The first clip features Ford ‘officials’ announcing Doug as its new spokesperson. John Ross Bowie, writer for the campaign and otherwise known as Barry Kripke on Big Bang Theory, plays the role of Doug’s handler. Ford found Doug after he was seen in a series of clips that went viral. Doug foiled a robber, saved someone having a heart attack on a bus and helped a woman choking in a restaurant. Click past the jump to watch the three Focus videos, along with a brace of other Doug videos.

[Source: Ford]

Continue reading Videos: Ford hires wisecracking, handsy puppet to promote 2012 Focus

Videos: Ford hires wisecracking, handsy puppet to promote 2012 Focus originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 21 Mar 2011 12:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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