Ford fans might have mourned the loss of the old five-cylinder from the Focus ST range – though not those who valued their bank accounts, as it was rather thirsty – but the current Focus ST is undoubtedly a more sophisticated car.
Unfortunately it’s not our favourite hot hatch right now and to compound that it’s been somewhat overshadowed by the more recent introduction of the one everyone wanted in the first place: the Ford Focus RS.
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However, the introduction of the RS is little help from those who already have an ST on their driveway, and you can’t yet buy an RS for the £12,000 or so that post-2012 2-litre STs are now going for. That makes it a tempting platform for upgrades…
Ford Focus ST upgrade ideas
So, that Focus RS is quite some car, isn’t it? Gee whizz, those Focus ST owners must be feeling glum right now. For a few quid more a month they’d have got an extra pair of driven wheels, a bigger engine, more power…
Luckily, Essex-based Ford specialist Mountune has a solution: £1195 (plus fitting) gets you the MP275 package. A high-flow intercooler, induction kit and ECU remap increase power from 247bhp to 271bhp, and torque rises by 30lb ft to 295lb ft. We drove the much-improved results in issue 215.
‘The standard car’s flat delivery is gone and the motor has so much more enthusiasm for revs,’ said Stuart Gallagher in that issue. He added, ‘if you drive a Ford Focus ST, we’d struggle to understand why you wouldn’t have this kit fitted.’
Mountune also sells a billet short-shift kit for the ST, which shortens the slightly baggy standard shift by 25 per cent. It’s £159 from mountune.com. A Quaife ATB helical limited-slip diff (£726 from Mountune, excluding fitting) should help fix the Ford’s unruly front axle, too. Not quite an RS perhaps, but closer than before.
Ford Focus ST key facts and figures
|Engine||In-line 4-cyl, 1999cc, turbo|
|Max power||247bhp @5500rpm|
|Max torque||265lb ft @ 2000-4500rpm|
|Transmission||Six-speed manual, front-wheel drive|
|Top speed||154mph (claimed)|
|Price new||£22,750 (ST-1)|
|Price range used||£12,000-£25,000|
Recommended service interval: 12,500 miles or annually (petrol and diesel)
What we said at the time
‘The Ecoboost engine isn’t lacking in character or response and it sounds superb. Noise is piped into the cabin and somewhere between the engine bay and your ears it seems to find another cylinder. The deep, warbly note is very reminiscent of the old five-cylinder ST’s, and it’s backed by a thumping delivery. It certainly gives the front wheels something to think about… in fact, it gives them a huge headache. The new steering setup might be more incisive but it’s still corrupted buy quite severe torque-steer. Dial back your expectations and the ST improves and shows good balance.’ Jethro Bovingdon (evo 207) Read the full review here