Ford Focus ST: An Already Familiar Face Turns Toward Frankfurt

The series production version of the Ford Focus ST will show its face formally — and finally — next week at the Frankfurt motor show. The hot hatch will be sold in the United States later in 2012.

In concept form, the car was first displayed at the Paris auto show a year ago wearing a hue of orange called Tangerine Scream. It made subsequent stops at the Los Angeles, Detroit and New York auto shows.

The new ST is not part of Ford’s SVT range aimed at enthusiasts, unlike the previous high-performance Focus sold in North America. It does, however, represent part of a global performance category at Ford.

Jost Capito, the head of global performance vehicle strategy at Ford, said in a telephone interview Thursday that the brand intended to introduce several new performance vehicles globally, a push that would also include a 2013 Mustang GT500.

The ST, with its wide-mouth trapezoidal grill and dual-outlet exhaust, is rated to deliver 247 horsepower from its turbocharged 2-liter 4-cylinder EcoBoost motor. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard.

Compared with the standard 2012 Focus now on sale, the ST also has a lowered chassis, bigger brakes and suspension tuning tweaks. More details are expected to be revealed next week at the show, but pricing for the United States-bound model is not. The Titanium model, which represents the current high end for the Focus in America, costs $23,495 before options.