Released in 2010, the ongoing Focus is not exactly what we would call a new car. An update is one its way and it has already been spied a couple of times wearing quite a bit of camouflage. Unlike many other manufacturers, Ford has the tendency to offer unique and rare versions of their cars before discontinuing them. This has been the case with the current Focus and its RS model. However, it seems that it might receive another version with the rumored 2017 Ford Focus ST280. This has not been confirmed by Ford so far but in the past months we have seen testing at the Nurburgring a rather interesting Focus ST.
Is it needed?
Likely no. However, another special edition for the Focus will allow Ford to improve their hold on the market. The car is most likely going to be aimed directly at hardcore versions of other hatchbacks.
This means it will not be a comfortable and powerful Focus but rather a faster and more aggressive version. This should make a great competitor for the new GTI Clubsport.
So far the release date or the price are unknown. We do expect the car no later than the second quarter of 2017 mainly because the new Focus is going to be out by the start of 2018.
The price will likely be slightly higher than that of the current model which currently sits at just over $25,000.
2017 Ford Focus ST280 looks
The current ST is based on the facelift version of the Focus, so not all that much is going to change here. It is quite clear that the model testing at the Nurburgring was just a development mule.
However, we can clearly see what Ford will change. For starters, the front bumper seems to be the largest upgrade here. The mule boasted two winglets on each corner of the bumper as well as a larger splitter.
The production model is unlikely going to feature these in this form. Instead, expect a modified bumper that will integrate them in a more subtle way.
The sides as well as the rear of the car will likely remain mostly unchanged with the car possibly receiving a new set of lightweight rims.
Like with most other high performance versions, the 2017 Ford Focus ST280 will likely be mostly identical to the regular ST.
We do expect the Recaro seats to be offered as standard as well as a slightly better set of materials such as Alcantara.
However, the dashboard, instrument cluster and even the infotainment system are unlikely going to change much, if at all.
Under the hood
Here the 2017 Ford Focus ST280 is going to receive the most amount of attention. The ongoing model makes 252 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque.
This is usually enough but due to tougher competition, Ford had to do something. The new model is expected to boast up to 280 horsepower and around 280 to 285 lb-ft of torque.
The car will remain front wheel drive while the six speed manual transmission is still going to be offered as standard. The 0 to 60 MPH time will likely stay quite similar but it should have improve rolling acceleration as well as a better engine response.
In order to cope with the extra power, the ST280 is also likely to receive some changes to its suspension and transmission. A limited slip differential might be offered as standard while a lower suspension could be in use.
The two would allow the car to make better use of its power, so it should be, at least in theory, become better than its closest rival, the GTI Clubsport. We only hope that Ford will not make it a limited edition, which might be the case considering its upcoming discontinuation.