The new Ford Focus ST will be available from £29,495 in the UK, with first customer deliveries due to begin next month.
The entry-level variant will be the ST hatch in 187bhp 2.0-litre EcoBlue guise, the most powerful diesel powertrain ever available with the Focus. In estate form, the diesel ST starts from £30,595. By comparison, the model's chief rival, the Volkswagen Golf GTI, is available from £25,845 in 217bhp 2.0-litre TSI guise.
The 276bhp 2.3-litre Ecoboost petrol-powered variant will be available from £31,995, rising to £33,095 for the estate version.
The 2019 Focus will no longer be available in ST-2 and ST-3 forms but, for £23,500, buyers can spec their Focus in ST-Line X trim, which is available with a 180bhp 1.5-litre Ecoboost petrol engine good for 137mph and 0-62mph in 8.3sec.
Ford says the latest iteration of the Focus ST offers “the most responsive and agile Focus ST driving experience ever, on road and track”, thanks to the model’s new C2 platform and a host of new technology derived from halo models such as the Ford GT supercar and the Mustang.
It is the first front-wheel-drive Ford to get an electronic limited-slip differential (eLSD), intended to enhance cornering stability. Rev-matching technology is available with the six-speed manual gearbox. A seven-speed automatic is also available.
Selectable drive modes are another first for the Focus ST. They comprise Slippery/Wet, Normal and Sport, plus a Track mode for versions equipped with the Performance pack. The drive modes adjust various parameters, including the ST’s electric steering, which is Ford’s fastest yet and 15% faster than a standard Focus’s.
There is also continuously controlled damping (CCD), standard on five-door petrol variants, which monitors suspension, steering and braking inputs to adjust damping responses every two milliseconds and promises “ultimate refinement”.