First Drive: 2013 Ford Focus ST reviews ford first drives
2013 Ford Focus ST. Click image to enlarge

Manufacturer’s web site
Ford Motor Company of Canada

Review and photos by James Bergeron

Photo Gallery:
2013 Ford Focus ST

Enthusiasts in North America have been waiting for this moment for a long time—the ST branding has been applied to Ford vehicles in Europe coming up on close to 10 years, and in North America we have been starving with boring Ford appliances for years.

Finally, with the “One Ford” strategy, North America is included in the new 2013 Ford Focus ST—a hot hatch for the masses aimed directly at the Volkswagen GTI, Mazdaspeed3, and Subaru WRX for the hot hatch crown, and the Focus ST brings with it a phenomenal arsenal.

The Focus ST is powered by the 2.0L Ford EcoBoost engine, which offers an amazing mix of performance and efficiency. In Focus ST trim, the 2.0L engine outputs a phenomenal 252 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque from 2,000 to 4,500 rpm.

First Drive: 2013 Ford Focus ST reviews ford first drives
2013 Ford Focus ST. Click image to enlarge

Ford’s lightweight, all-aluminum EcoBoost engines provide the power of a larger engine in a fuel-efficient smaller displacement, leveraging three key technologies. High-pressure direct injection, low-inertia turbocharging, and twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) create an advanced combustion system that brings new levels of performance and fuel efficiency.

Mated to the 2.0L engine is a six-speed manual transmission, which has specially revised gearing to produce the maximum punch from each throw of the gearshift. The Global Performance Vehicles group devoted significant attention to detail to ensure the ratio of sixth gear was perfectly in tune with the Focus ST, giving the driver optimum performance while remaining long enough to help maintain excellent fuel economy on longer runs.

The exhaust system—with unique centre-exit tailpipes—is tuned to deliver a perfectly balanced audible experience. Sound piped directly into the cabin, similar to the system used in the Mustang GT, creates a symphony of music as you row through the gears.

First Drive: 2013 Ford Focus ST reviews ford first drives
First Drive: 2013 Ford Focus ST reviews ford first drives
2013 Ford Focus ST. Click image to enlarge

The previous generation Focus ST was powered by a five-cylinder engine in Europe, and people raved about the acoustics of that engine, so moving to a four-cylinder EcoBoost engine proved to be a challenge for the engineering team to keep that passion alive.

Jost Capito, director of Global Performance Vehicles, had the following to say about the Focus ST’s exhaust tone: “The physics and acoustics of a five-cylinder engine compared to a four-cylinder are very different, but like Beethoven and Mozart—both of whom created fantastic, yet very different music—we believe the engine note of the new Focus ST will delight enthusiasts in the same way.”

Inside, Ford designers worked hard to ensure the driver feels as connected to the car as possible. Sporty Recaro seats help deliver a unique, cockpit look and provide exceptional support and comfort.

Building on the Focus’ cockpit feel, the ST’s sporty feeling is further heightened. Details range from specially designed pedals to the steering wheel and gearshift. The darker headliner and trim on the pillars, an integral part of the ST’s design DNA, adds to the performance feel.

Wrapped around gorgeous 18” alloy wheels are high-performance 235/40R18 Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 tires that provide excellent road-holding in all conditions while offering a quiet and comfortable ride.




About James Bergeron

James Bergeron is an Ottawa-based automotive journalist. He is also a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).