Launched last summer, the all new Ford Focus ignited the compact segment with its class leading handling. Ford goes even further this year, with the introduction of its new ST version, equipped with some hefty horsepower and improved precision.

Focus ST builds on the class-leading driving dynamics of the fourth generation Focus in five-door hatch and estate body styles. Ford’s new C2 architecture is enhanced with unique suspension, braking and powertrain configurations.

A new engine line-up creates up to 12 per cent more power and 17 per cent more torque compared with the previous generation Focus ST. Ford’s 280PS 2.3-litre EcoBoost petrol engine and 190PS 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine both deliver a broad spread of power and torque across the rev-range.

Ford’s first application of an electronic limited-slip differential (eLSD) for a front-wheel drive vehicle further enhances the cornering and stability of new Focus ST, sharpening responses to changing grip levels and driver inputs using computer-controlled pre-emptive actuation.

A choice of six-speed manual or new, quick-shifting, seven-speed automatic transmissions is offered, and Selectable Drive Modes technology is introduced to the Focus ST for the first time.

A new generation of Ford’s 2.3-litre EcoBoost all-aluminium engine is the most powerful ever offered for a Focus ST. Using advanced turbocharging technology to deliver 280PS power at 5,500rpm and 420Nm of torque from 3,000rpm to 4,000rpm, it is also the most free-revving Focus ST engine ever, and supports anticipated 0-62mph acceleration in less than six seconds.

Innovative anti-lag technology developed for the Ford GT supercar and F-150 Raptor pick-up is introduced to the Focus ST, for immediate power delivery in Sport and Track drive modes. Anti?lag keeps the throttle open when the driver lifts off the accelerator pedal, alleviating the reversal of air flow from the turbocharger to maintain compressor wheel speed and enabling boost pressure to build faster on demand.

Ford’s 190PS 2.0-litre EcoBlue engine is the most powerful diesel engine ever offered for a Ford Focus model, delivering peak power at 3,500rpm and 400Nm of torque between 2,000rpm and 3,000rpm – and 360Nm from 1,500rpm – for immediate and linear acceleration.

The Focus ST’s six-speed manual transmission enables more urgent gear-changes and provides a sportier feel with a shift-throw reduction of seven per cent compared with the standard all-new Focus. Ford’s new rev-matching technology that debuted on the new Ford Mustang is also introduced as part of an optional Performance Pack for 2.3-litre EcoBoost manual models.

Gear differentiation on the new seven-speed variant of Ford’s automatic transmission is optimised for performance, and Adaptive Shift Scheduling – which assesses individual driving styles to optimise gearshift timings – is enhanced to offer more flexibility and the ability to differentiate between road and track use. Drivers can select gears manually using steering wheel-mounted paddle-shifters.