New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

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Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

New Focus ST is a family wagon

2011-09-12 21:55

SOCCER MOM SUPERCAR?: Ford’s stretched its ST offering with an estate. Brand equity depreciator or not?

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Ford
Model Focus ST
Engine 2-litre, four-cylinder, turbo
Power 186kW
Torque 360Nm
Transmission Six-speed manual
Ford’s shocked fans of its ST-nameplate by revealing a wagon version of the performance Focus at the Frankfurt auto show.

The new Focus will be available in hatchback and wagon body-styles, and are all powered by a 2-litre turbocharged engine good for 186kW/360Nm.

Despite being 500cc down on a capacity (and configured with a cylinder less), Focus ST’s version of Ford’s four-cylinder turbocharged EcoBoost engine has been impeccably engineered to provide powertrain characteristics similar to the second-generation Focus ST’s iconic Volvo-sourced 2.5-litre five-cylinder.

To guarantee hot hatch throttle response from the smaller engine, Ford’s powertrain engineers have equipped the new ST’s 2-litre engine with resigned intake and exhaust systems and a product specific ECU map.

Although the characteristic five-cylinder exhaust note is no longer present, Ford’s been cognisant to ensure the new ST does retain an acoustic signature true to its hot hatch heritage. How?

Well, there’s a custom crafted exhaust system (that exits below the centre of the rear bumper) and a sound symposer.

What’s a sound symposer? Well, it’s a trick harmonics damper that manages to filter out droning road and mechanical noise, whilst allowing more dramatic (and hot hatch desirable) exhaust notes through.


Beyond the smaller (but ostensibly better powertrain), Ford’s new Focus ST retains its front-wheel drive configuration and a host of trick mechanical engineering details to limit torque-steer and ensure a rewarding dynamic driving experience.

Although the power steering is electronically assisted, Ford says its suite of torque-steer compensation measures. These include sophisticated torque vectoring (where inner wheel brake applications neaten vehicle posture during high-speed, right radius cornering), and a three-stage ESP system (tallying “on”, “wide-slip” and fully disengaged mode).

The new ST also rides 10mm lower than its second-generation predecessor, and rolls (rather disconcertingly, and in a product affliction that Golf GTI owners will have sympathy with) relatively unchanged 18-inch alloys wheels, sporting the familiar split-spoke, five-blade design.

FOCUSSED ST: Central exhaust a nice styling change. Tuned to ensure ST-specific acoustic signature is not lost…

New Focus ST will be available in three grades: ST1, ST2 and ST3.

Obviously, ST1 is the standard model, with cloth-trimmed Recaro seats and keyless start.

ST2 adds part-leather Recaros, dual-zone climate control, ST-embossed floor mats, auto illumination and an auto-dimming rear view mirror.

The range-topping ST3 features heated, full-leather Recaros, a Recaro rear bench seat, and bi-xenon headlights.


Apart from the new ST, Ford’s also revealed its new 1-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost Focus engine at the 2011 Frankfurt auto show. An amazing powerplant, it’s available in 74- and 88kW versions; both producing 170Nm. Average consumption, in the new Focus bodyshell, averages to 6.2-litres/100km.

How does Ford manage such numbers from so little swept capacity? Well, thanks to a twin variable camshaft design and an exhaust manifold cast that is part of the cylinder head.

New Focus, whether in family-friendly ST wagon or low-consumption 1-litre triple configuration, has truly become the global car Ford always envisioned it would become…

The latest from the Frankfurt show.


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