Sign up for our newsletter


New Ford Focus ST spied testing – Golf GTI rival getting ready for battle

Jordan Katsianis
17 Apr 2018

The all-new Ford Focus ST will have plenty to prove against strong current and upcoming rivals


The all-new Focus has only just been revealed to the public, but Ford isn’t wasting any time getting a hot ST model ready to fight it out with the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Peugeot 308 GTi by Peugeot Sport and talented new Hyundai i30 N. Due to arrive in early 2019, the new lower, wider Focus should provide a strong set of foundations for the new hot hatch.

Underpinning the new ST will be the same completely redesigned chassis as the new Focus. Standard models have all received a weight saving of around 50kg, something likely to be mirrored in the new ST. Combined with an expected power boost to somewhere in the region of 270bhp should make this the fastest Focus ST yet. The standard petrol-powered Focus is currently only available with three cylinders, however we expect the ST to gain a fourth in order to generate the extra grunt required to take on its rivals. Further details on the engine remain scarce. We also expect high-performance diesel and estate variants of the ST to be available in time.

> Click here for our review of the Hyundai i30 N

Looking at the prototype in these pictures, the Focus’s body looks largely unchanged from the standard hatch, without any body-in-white changes. A larger rear wing, deeper skirts and a more aggressive rear diffuser are notable, though, and combined with larger wheels should give the new Focus ST an aggressive stance on the road. It’s also interesting to see that Ford has ditched the centrally mounted exhaust tip in favour of dual pipes, a move that might allow models to be fitted with a tow bar.

With the new Focus launching this summer, Ford is busy getting all of the new Focus’s current variants on sale first, the last of which will be the quasi-SUV Active model at the end of the year. The ST should follow shortly after, pointing towards an early 2019 reveal, less than a year before the next-generation Golf GTI is due.

Although entertaining enough to drive, the current Focus ST has had a tough time competing against impressive rivals from both traditional and non-traditional rival brands. With a lower, lighter and more dynamically focussed chassis underpinning it, the new ST should have the ingredients to get back into the hunt for class honours.


Experience the thrill of driving every month with evo magazine, devoted exclusively to the greatest performance cars in the world. If you're passionate about performance cars then evo is your ultimate monthly read.