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Hotly anticipated Ford Focus ST breaks cover

New version of hot hatch gets 276bhp petrol option, new electronic differential and selectable drive modes

One of the most anticipated cars of 2019 has broken cover, with the Ford Focus ST now revealed to the world.

Available in both hatchback and estate body styles, the performance machine tops the Focus range and boasts bags of new technology.

Two engines are available. The headline-grabbing option is a 2.3-litre petrol – a detuned version of the previous RS’s, boasting 276bhp and 420Nm here, sent to the front wheels via a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic gearbox. What that translates to in performance has yet to be revealed, but Ford says to expect the 0-60mph sprint to come in under six seconds.

Breaking the anti-diesel trend, Ford is also offering a black-pump variant of the ST. The 2.0-litre unit produces 187bhp and 400Nm, so expect performance to be down on its petrol stablemate.

Helping to distribute that power across the front axle effectively is a Ford-first electronic limited-slip differential, while selectable drive modes make an ST debut, allowing the car to be optimised for a number of driving conditions – with Sport and Track modes even amplifying the engine note.

Along with commonplace ST badging and aluminium trim highlights throughout the cabin, a set of Recaro seats feature up front to enhance the performance feel of the hatchback.

As for the exterior, it goes a step further than the already aggressive-looking Focus ST Line with revised grille designs, a larger rear spoiler and the addition of a twin-exit exhaust system. Red brake callipers are also available via an optional Performance Pack, while 18- and 19-inch alloy wheels can be specified.

This boosted performance and racier edge hasn’t resulted in a compromised list of luxury features, though. Adaptive cruise control, automatic headlights, a head-up display and a self-parking system are all available too.

Order books for the new Ford Focus ST will open in the summer, with deliveries to follow later in the year. Expect full UK pricing and specifications to follow soon.

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