Ford Still Bringing the Heat
You may have seen my article several months ago which, in a nut shell, queried whether Ford could carry on its run of cracking hot hatches that we have become accustomed to this last decade.
Well I think I ought to doff my cap to the designers and engineers and tell you that they most certainly can.
The new Focus ST has recieved unanimous praise from all the leading car magazines and journalists for its undeniably great balance of value-for-money, looks, practicality and driver satisfaction. It may not seem like such a big task to offer all these things when you have managed to pull it off on more than occasion in the past. Most people will agree that the previous generation hot Focus and Fiesta ST werewere a blast, and both the Mk 1 and 2 Focus RS were (and still are) brilliant. However you have to consider the ever-growing list of rules and regulations that each new car must comply with. Combine this with a somewhat crowded marketplace and it can make the whole thing a tad tricky.
If you read any review of Ford's new flagship Focus, you will see the compliments far outweighing the slight criticisms. And a bonus this time around is the option to have it in estate form. This might seem strange at first glance, but further increasing its carrying capacity without compromising any of the stuff a petrolhead cares about is a no-brainer.
For me the ST has two other main advantages over its rivals. Firstly its list price undercuts more premium alternatives by a significant margin, making such a great motor available to more people. (The standard ST is under is a fiver under 22 grand.) Secondly, it looks fantastic. The colour options and the colour & wheel combinations that can be specced add a real breath of fresh air to the hot hatch market. I've seen quite a few out on the road now, and the 'Tangerine Scream' yellow is lovely (as long as it's clean), as is the Spirit Blue. It's a great match of daring-to-be-different and still retaining its class.
So after many praising reviews and healthy initial sales, we can safely say that Ford is still well and truly in the mix. Now let us get our hands on that Fiesta ST!