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Ford's new performance RS model

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February 15, 2005

Gardemeister's WRC RS at speed in the first round of the championships this year in Monte ...

Gardemeister's WRC RS at speed in the first round of the championships this year in Monte Carlo.

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February 16, 2005 Ford announced an all-new Ford Focus ST performance model for the road today, just 48 hours after Toni Gardemeister drove the Ford Team Focus RS WRC into the lead of the World Rally Championships. Ford will show the car to the public at the 75 th Salon International de L'Automobile in Geneva. The title leading RS was acknowledged as the fastest tarmac car during the latter part of the 2004 season and has started the year well despite going into the championship as a distant fourth favourite for the manufacturers crown.

The all-new ST (Sport Technologies) Focus is due for showrooms towards the end of 2005, comes with Turbocharged Duratec ST 2.5-litre 5-cylinder engine delivering 220PS and Ford emphasised how closely Ford Team RS had been contributing to the 'shared technolgies' global engineering strategy which is designed to bring technologies to market quicker than ever before.

Powered by a turbocharged Duratec ST 2.5-litre, 5-cylinder engine and equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox, the Focus ST promises, in its specification and its distinctive design features, to raise the new Focus's reputation as a driver's car to new heights.

Focus ST's stance - low-profile 225/40 performance tyres on sculpted 18x8-inch five-spoke cast aluminium wheels - speaks driving confidence and grip. Inside and out, Focus ST's design makes its performance attributes clear, but in a manner that also supports refinement, craftsmanship and practicality. Focus ST remains a comfortable car for everyday family driving.

The interior design of the new Focus ST also plays a role in communicating its sporting credentials with an additional instrument pod atop the upper instrument panel.

The additional instrument pod is one of several special design features inside Focus ST. Under its half-dome 'eyebrow' shape, a trio of instruments - turbocharger boost pressure, oil temperature and oil pressure - are grouped.

These new gauges, as well as the 160-mph speedometer, rev counter, temperature and fuel gauges in the primary instrument cluster, are given a new graphic design deeply ringed in aluminium opal colour to match other brushed aluminium interior accents.

Expected within a year of the introduction of the mainstream Focus family, the new Focus ST is quicker to market than previous ST models. It is one of the key benefits from the formation of Ford Team RS, according to Capito.

"Faster delivery time is one of the synergies that have resulted from combining Ford of Europe's motorsport and performance car engineering teams," Capito said.

"In the past, ST models came in the middle of a product cycle. Now we're aligned with the design, vehicle dynamics and powertrain functions to better integrate performance derivative development and take fuller advantage of the vast array of resources made possible by Ford's global shared technologies approach."

Full technical details of the new Ford Focus ST will be revealed closer to its launch towards the end of 2005.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon After Editing or Managing over 50 print publications primarily in the role of a Magazine Doctor, Mike embraced the internet full-time in 1995 and became a "start-up all-rounder" – quite a few start-ups later, he founded Gizmag in 2002. Now he can write again.   All articles by Mike Hanlon
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