The sporty profile of the three-door Ford Focus, which will underpin hot ST and RS performance models, has been scooped for the first time by Autocar. With new sheetmetal from the A-pillar backwards, Ford Europe design chief Chris Bird has penned an arcing rear roofline that incorporates a prominent roof spoiler to smooth the airflow over the steeply raked rear window.
Bird’s design cleverly gives the three- and five-door bodystyles a distinct look, even though they use the same rear hatch pressing, a technique commonly employed to keep tooling costs down.
The rakish three-door will be a strong basis for new, sportier ST and RS models. The ST model, due in December 2005, will supersede the limp-wristed ST170 with a car powered by the same turbocharged 212bhp 2.0-litre powertrain as the much-loved Focus RS. Drive will be to the front wheels only and a five-door version will be offered, too. It should finally give the ST a real chance of challenging Renault’s Mégane 225 and Honda’s Civic Type-R. It was a profitable outing for Autocar’s spy photographers – they also caught prototypes of both five-door and estate body styles testing. First to be launched are the two hatches, which will be revealed at September’s Paris show.