However, the Focus ST also gets a raft of extra tweaks made by Ford Team RS performance division aimed at improving the entire driving experience.
The sports suspension features new front springs and sportier new shock absorber tuning front and rear. The anti-roll bars and rear springs are carried over from the outgoing Focus ST. Ford says the changes deliver "an even sharper dynamic performance".
The calibration of the electronic power assisted steering (EPAS) has also been revised, which Ford claims provides "a quicker response from the variable ratio steering, improving turn-in and delivering better overall balance".
The three-stage electronic stability programme (ESP) has been tweaked, "to maintain optimal precision and control during rapid changes of direction at speed".
Another change is to the electronic torque vectoring control settings to "further optimise wheel torque distribution, maximising traction through corners and increasing agility" according to Ford.
The Focus ST's engine mounts have been engineered to to refine the power delivery under hard acceleration by improving front-wheel traction and gear-shift quality.
Additionally, Ford worked with Michelin to develop a new 19-inch tyre that complements the driving dynamics, especially maximising lateral grip.
Key cosmetic changes to the Ford Focus ST include a lower, wider stance, sculpted bonnet, reproportioned upper grille, slimmer headlamps and rectangular foglamps.
The sports bodykit also includes body‑coloured side skirts and diffuser elements either side of the exhaust, and a rear roof spoiler optimised for aerodynamic performance. All new Focus ST models feature twin-hexagonal centre tailpipes.
Inside, Ford has redesigned the Focus for a more intuitive dashboard layout, with significantly fewer buttons in the cabin. However, the ST retains the additional bank of three gauges – displaying turbocharger boost pressure, oil temperature and oil pressure – on the instrument binnacle.
The performance model gets a new, flat-base sports steering wheel with a soft-feel leather covered rim. The ST also features sports seats developed jointly by Ford and Recaro, a satin chrome-topped gear lever, sports pedals, satin chrome door grab handles and illuminated aluminium scuff plates.
As with the current car, the Focus ST will be available in three trim levels named ST1, ST2 and ST3. ST1 seats feature grey/charcoal/anthracite black fabric; ST2 adds partial leather with base and side bolsters available in four colours and ST3 seats have a full charcoal black leather finish.
The revised Focus ST comes with the Ford Sync 2 connectivity system, which offers access to audio, navigation, climate control and mobile phones via voice control and a high-definition, eight-inch colour touchscreen.
Adaptive front lighting is available for the first time on the Focus ST, while the car also gets Cross Traffic Alert – which warns drivers reversing from parking spaces if other vehicles are about to cross their path – Active City Stop collision avoidance and Lane Keeping Aid.
Ford has sold more than 140,000 Focus ST models in 40 countries worldwide since the first iteration of the car was launched in 2002.
Available to order in Europe from autumn 2014, the first new Focus ST models are scheduled to be in dealerships from early 2015. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.