By on September 15, 2010

We received this information only a few hours before the embargo, and there isn’t a lot of it. This is supposed to be the “Global” 2012 Ford Focus ST. How global? How fast? What exactly are those brakes? Read on.

Rather than retype the press release and claim it as our own work, we’ll just copy the relevant section in said press release for you to read:

At Paris, Ford is delivering on that promise by revealing an early preview model of the exciting next-generation Ford Focus ST. Targeted for launch in all global markets from early 2012, the all-new Ford Focus ST will be Ford’s first high-performance model developed under its global Performance Vehicles strategy.

The new range-topping Focus – which features a unique 250PS version of the 2.0-litre Ford EcoBoost engine – will be completely true to Ford’s ST heritage, offering driving enthusiasts an intoxicating cocktail of exhilarating performance and handling accompanied by an addictive sound.

Visitors to the Paris display also cannot fail to notice the show car’s highly distinctive sports exterior, which is finished in ‘Tangerine Scream’, a dramatic new body colour that reflects the new ST’s exciting and energetic character.


250 horses from the two-liter EcoBoost should be a walk in the park, since it’s already boosted nearly that high for the Edge and Explorer. No word on whether that’s coupled to the “PowerShift” dual-clutch transmission that we have on the Fiesta now. I’ve raced the Ford Spec Focus cars that have about 210hp at the crank, using the standard Ford five-speed Focus transmission, so that’s a possibility as well. SVT Foci of the first generation (ST170 overseas) had six-speeders.

In Europe, “ST” is not the most hardcore Focus. There’s usually an “RS” above it. Don’t look for that rather expensive model to show up in the States, though.

The last question: What are those brakes? They’re clearly meant to look like ATE opposed-piston calipers, but I suspect they are sliding-caliper big brakes as found on the Audi S5. After three hours looking at the “cutout” surrounding the ATE logo on the high-res variant of these pics, I believe it’s a large-diameter slider. We will see tomorrow if I’m correct.

I’m excited about this one: with the departure of the better-than-you’d-think Cobalt SS and wayyyy-better-than-you’d-think Neon SRT-4, it’s time for Ford to carry the domestic compact performance flag for a while.

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45 Comments on “This Is The 2012 Ford Focus ST...”

  • avatar

    About that snout… I thought it was safe to go back in the water after Mazda abandoned the smiling Nagare grille, but this abomination looks like an angry big-mouth bass. The rest of the car is not bad, as long as other, more subdued colors are available.

  • avatar

    Looks like a Mazda3 and a Volvo C30 got fuzed together in a radiation blast. That thing looks miserable. Interior came from the same people who make Redbull I guess. Still I don’t just buy with my eyes.

  • avatar

    I’m praying for a day when something contemporary and original actually happens to be handsome as well. That tail is atrocious. I won’t say it isn’t original, though.

  • avatar

    Goodbye SE-R, hello ST.

  • avatar

    The stance on this is wrong.  Much too tippy-toed for a sports compact; the Caliber SRT looks more “hunkered down”.

    • 0 avatar

      Actually, on closer inspection, it looks a lot like the Caliber SRT-4.  I personally don’t mind the look, but I have questionable taste.

      Now, if it’s as good a handler as the old SVT Focus—still the best suspension and steering I’ve sampled in a car that isn’t pre-2001 3-Series—I wouldn’t care what it looked like, nor will many others.

  • avatar

    I’m not in love with the front end of the 2012 Focus yet, but I will reserve final judgement until I see it in person.  As of right now, I think I prefer the current Euro Focus design which is a bit more rounded and Audi-esque in the front end.  Something about those lower flanges makes them look like they were tacked on as an afterthought.
    Still, 250hp in a Focus sounds like it could be an incredibly fun car.

  • avatar

    Is there a race to see who can design the ugliest snouts?
    Really, in the last few years it’s hard to find a car I would call beautiful.

  • avatar

    The pedestrian safety regs have killed decent car design for now. We’re stuck with ugly, bloated front ends, until engineers manage to create some kind of an active pedestrian safety system.

  • avatar

    Focus ST FTW!, on the might buy list if has a respectable price and either a semi slick shifting manual or powershift

  • avatar
    xer 21

    now, please, just ditch the SHO tag on the taurus.  then, put an ecoboost 6 into a fusion giving every major branding in the ford line a performance vehicle and thus giving the SHO badge what i think is a better home.  the Taurus SHO is too heavy.  A fusion SHo with its 6 speed Manual would be just about right.

  • avatar

    Yes! It better come with a six manual – Mrs. Monty said she would even consider factory ordering one of these, preferably in a bright colour.

    Hopefully this version won’t be offered in “greige” – this is a car that screams to be painted in black or neon bright colours.

  • avatar
    John R

    I like the color, but isn’t “Tangerine Scream” some kind of flavored prophylactic?

  • avatar

    It seems the tunerZ crowd had a hand in the design of the front bumper.
    They abandoned the vertical tail lamps… I don’t like the new ones.
    The interior, rocks.

  • avatar

    I think it’s been beefed aesthetically so it looks like  the top dog. The previous ST was very restrained compared to this IMO because the lairy RS was free to be the wild one. If this is going global and being sold as the #1 it needs to look it compared to the regular Focus.

  • avatar

    I like it and I’ll take it in this color please.

  • avatar

    I think it looks fantastic. Too bad Toyota already use that taillamp setup on the Venza, which makes the rear end a little evocative…but hey.

  • avatar

    I would rather have the Mazda version of the future Ford Focus, better looking interior and exterior based on the Mazda3 comparison to the Euro Focus and and the Mazda6 to the Ford Fusion.

  • avatar


    I like this car.
    I want fast and hatch together.

    But how close will this thing end up near 30 grand?
    If it does, forget it and wait for the Mazda diesels coming.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    I like it as is.  Don’t change a thing kid.

  • avatar

    “…an intoxicating cocktail of exhilarating performance and handling accompanied by an addictive sound.”
    At my age a regular bowel movement is of much more importance.

  • avatar

    I’m not wild about the looks but if it rides and handles as well as my 2003 Focus SVT with more power and torque how could I refuse?

  • avatar

    Global markets from early 2012 means it’s only going to start being made available; not that it will be released globally at that time.  Given Ford’s track record with the Focus and Fiesta that means it’ll be available in the US around 2014.  Still, I suppose it’s better than copying the new Mondeo’s North American release. ;)

  • avatar

    It continues to amaze me how/why Ford insists on making every refreshed iteration of their appliances uglier and uglier. It has happened the last two times with the Super Doody, the “new” Explorer looks like the bastard love child between the current Taurus and a Freestyle, the F-150 is much worse than the 04-09s, ditto for the reskinned Edge and the Lincoln rebadge, it happened with the 2008 Focus and now, once again with the 2012 Focus.

    And now…exaggerating the terrible looking 2012 Focus is this insult to the ‘Focus ST’ name. The last generation looked fantastic. It really was one of the worlds best cars combining style with performance and quality. It represented one of three Fords I would happily put in my garage. But this new one…like all of the new Fords is hideous…with looks from all angles on par or worse than the Aztec. It will also have a bland interior, and I’m sure will drive like a truck.

    Another car Ford has ruined.

    • 0 avatar

      And yet it must kill you knowing the F-Series continues to trounce the GMT900s, thanks in no small part to the Super Duty. (When talking heavy-duty trucks, it helps when you can’t dent the sheetmetal by sneezing on it.)

      Regarding the ’12 Focus, I think an effective campaign for Ford stores would be to have a Cruze/Snuze on hand (maybe with the correct Daewoo badging on it) for comparison purposes. It would be no contest.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Except for the color, gorgeous.  Ford’s styling has gotten adventurous in the last 6-7 years, and the increased sales are partial proof (along with higher quality and people shunning Government Motors).


  • avatar

    I like it…a huge step up from the current version. The four-door sedan version was at the 2010 Washington, D.C., auto show this past January, and it looks good, too.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    What would happen if a car company built a car that did not have all of the popular styling cliches?
    I can dream, can’t I.

  • avatar

    It makes my coccyx tingle.  I like.

  • avatar

    Some of us have been quietly waiting for this (and driving Hondas in the meantime) for quite a while.  Let’s hope the US version doesn’t get softened and bloated like the SHO.

  • avatar
    nathan thurber

    I will be trading my ’10 focus ses for this! 

  • avatar

    Which would you buy and why, this or the Mustang V6

  • avatar

    Almost a decade ago the WRX had what I considered to be “the ugliest front end” in the industry. (Along with its blocky butted rear end.) Now I look at that same generation of Subaru and think “I wish Subaru was more like that NOW”. Some designs are not pretty or graceful, they are more rugged and bold. If they are tied to a great car (or incredible car) it warms and changes your opinion over time. I feel this generation of Focus, especially the ST, will change more than a few opinions in the years to come.

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