THE 2015 Ford Focus ST will start from $38,990 plus on-roads when it goes on sale from May 1.
That pricing ensures it remains among the best value hot hatches on the market, with the Volkswagen Golf GTI $41,990, Renault Megane RS265 $43,990 and Alfa Romeo Giulietta $42,000.
Among the changes to the LZ Focus ST hatch is sportier and more athletic styling. It has a lower, wider stance with a new dynamically sculpted bonnet, slimmer headlamps and new rectangular foglamps.
Its sports bodykit includes body-coloured side skirts and diffuser elements either side of the twin hexagonal centre exhausts and a rear roof spoiler optimised for aerodynamic performance.
A new dark grey exterior paint colour called Stealth has been introduced exclusively to the ST. Deep Impact Blue also is new to the range that also includes Tangerine Scream, Frozen White, Panther Black, Moondust Silver and Race Red.
Auto-Start-Stop is offered for the first time, which has reduced average fuel consumption to an average of 7.3 litres/100km.
The cabin layout has been changed with an additional bank of three gauges on the instrument binnacle which displays turbocharger boost pressure, oil temperature and oil pressure information. A new, flat-base sports steering wheel with a soft-feel leather covered rim, a satin chrome-topped gear lever and ST pedals are standard.
Its sports suspension features new front springs and firmer shock absorber tuning front and rear, with stiffer suspension bushes on the front lower control arm and rear spring links. In combination with the model-specific anti-roll bars and rear springs from the previous generation ST, Ford says these enhancements deliver an even sharper dynamic performance.
There is a $2000 option Technology Pack which features Active City Stop, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Keeping Aid, Lane Departure Warning, Driver Impairment Monitor and Auto High Beam Headlamps.
Rear Cross Traffic Alert is a new addition and warns drivers reversing from parking spaces if it detects other vehicles are about to cross their path.
Ford's enhanced Active City Stop, designed to avoid or minimise the impact of a collision - is now operative at speeds of up to 50 kmh. It readies the brakes if a potential impact is detected and - if the driver does not respond - will automatically apply the brakes.
Prestige paint is $450.
Model: Ford Focus ST.
Details: Five-door five-seat front-wheel drive performance hatch.
Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder generating maximum power of 184kW and 340Nm (360Nm with overboost).
Transmission: Six-speed manual transmission.
Consumption: 7.3 litres/100km (combined average).
Bottom line: $38,990.
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