What is it?
It's the welcome return of the Ford Focus ST, Ford's Volkwagen Golf GTI-rivalling hot hatch.
It has been two years since Ford last had an ST in the ranks, but this time around it's a slightly different beastie: there's no longer a five-pot engine under the bonnet, thanks to ever-tightening emissions regulations. But the Focus retains a couple of defining advantages over some of its rivals.
One, it starts at under £22,000 and two, it has 247bhp driving its front wheels. Its power comes from a 2.0-litre Ecoboost engine, while the fact that it is so keenly priced comes partly from the absence of fancy shenanigans in the front suspension and transmission of the sort that mark out its fastest non-rivals (such as double-axis strut front suspension and a mechanical limited-slip differential).
Instead, the ST has an electronic torque-steer compensator (whose motor feeds forces back into the electric power steering system to counter disruption), and not Ford's RevoKnuckle suspension. Likewise, instead of a limited slip differential, the ST it gets torque vectoring: an extension of the ESP system that will brake a lightly loaded inside wheel and effectively pass power to the outside.
If you want more hardware than that from a Focus, you'll have to pop down to your dealer and beg for an RS. (Try and talk them into doing a Fiesta as well, if you do.) There's no three-door version either, only this five-door hatch and the Focus ST estate.