Ford Plans 246-HP Focus Release for 2012

Ford Plans 246-HP Focus Release for 2012

The hottest compact on market right now may be the Mazda3, but its challenger is waiting in the wings. Or at least it is being tested on race tracks around the world in advance of its anticipated 2012 release.

The Ford Focus ST promises to be the fastest compact car ever built by the Ford Motor Company, powered by an EcoBoost four cylinder engine paired with a six-speed manual transmission. As of this publication, some 60 prototypes are navigating Germany’s famed Nurburgring race track as well as handling roads in Britain and California.

Ford Focus Enhancements

The hot to trot Focus will feature an upgraded interior, custom wheels and body kit enhancements. Unmistakably a Focus, this compact will have the heart and soul of a Ford Mustang. It just might beat certain versions of the steed on the road too.

Ford is holding details of the Focus close to the vest lest Mazda and to a lesser extent Volkswagen learn what it has planned. The Volkswagen GTI is smaller and lighter, but Ford may be eying its enthusiast base as well. There is a big gap between subcompact sporty cars and personal coupes such as the Mustang, Camaro and Challenger, thus the Focus ST should be able to fill it.

All New Focus

The current generation Ford Focus made its debut in 2008 to the European market, but only found its way to America in 2011. That follows Ford’s decision in 2008 to invoke its “One Ford” policy whereby the company builds many of its models for all of its markets. The previous generation Ford Focus featured a distinctly American version as well as a European inspired global version. The former model failed to live up to the latter, but at least its sales were respectable.

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Ford’s plans for the Focus ST should rest a number of rumors about its performance side, at least for now. Thought that a hyped up Fiesta model would surface can now be dismissed — that vehicle would be too close to the Focus ST, causing much in-fighting among Ford products. That also means Ford isn’t likely to purse a coupe version of its popular Fusion midsize sedan. Honda and Nissan continue to sell sedan and coupes in this segment, but Toyota has since abandoned the Camry Solara, choosing to focus on sedan and crossover versions instead.

Price Mystery Remains

No word yet how much the Ford Focus ST will cost, but a beginning price in the neighborhood of $25,000 seems likely. This model will be powered by its front wheels which means stabilizer bars and sport tuning will be standard. Look for a number of aftermarket options to be made available for buyers who eschew factory installed performance packages.