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Latest pics of Ford's all-new 247bhp Focus ST in testing ahead of 2012 launch

These are the best spy pictures yet of Ford’s all-new Focus ST in testing ahead of it reaching UK showrooms early next year.

The model spied near the Nurburgring is one of 60 development prototypes testing in Europe and North America.

“The new Focus ST is eagerly awaited around the world, which is appropriate as this is our first global performance model,” said Jost Capito, Ford’s director of Global Performance Vehicles.

See the latest Ford Focus ST spy pics

“It must live up to Ford’s reputation for producing affordable yet exciting and sporty versions of its smaller cars that reward and delight enthusiast drivers, but can also be used every day.

“We’ve done all the engineering groundwork, and now we’re using some of the most demanding roads we can find in Europe and North America to validate and fine tune the performance and driving dynamics.”

The new ST will be powered by a turbocharged 247bhp version of Ford’s new 2.0-litre Ecoboost engine. A six-speed manual gearbox is likely to be standard. Ford is planning for the Focus ST to offer class leading fuel economy.

Read more on the new Ford Focus ST

Ford is also promising the new Focus ST will offer a lower driving position than the previous-gen model and will “deliver an even more engaging driver experience”.

“The seats and seating position were very good in the previous Focus ST, but the new model is sleeker and the driver will sit lower. The new seats which will provide even more support,” said Ford of Europes’ performance car programme engineer chief Matthias Tonn.

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