The Ford Focus has been around since 1998 and they have played around with it in various guises ever since. The original ST was much loved and with its 2.5 litre engine it was a corker of a hot hatch.

As with all technology, Ford have managed to put a 2.0-litre engine in the new ST that produces 247bhp which, as you can image in such a small car, is mightily impressive and somewhat scary. I don’t scare easy so off l went like a scalded cat.

The ST is a softer version of the epic RS but it loses none of the appeal. The full-on Recaro seats are tremendous and hold you in place like super glue. All Ford interiors are well laid out and here is no exception with the additional turbo boost dials sitting high.

The drive is excellent but with all front wheel-drive hot hatches, you will feel some tyre scrabble as it tries to get off the line but certainly not as bad as most. 60mph arrives in around 6.5 seconds and short shifting will remedy most of the scrabble. The drive is firm but not harsh and it is very stable in corners unless you inadvertently unleash the gas pedal mid-bend - then you get what you deserve – an early visit to a ditch.

They have aimed the ST firmly at the Golf GTl in terms of ease of everyday use and speed and they have made a good fist of it.

Trim levels come in ST1, ST2, and ST3 and although the ST1 does not come with full leather, xenon’s and climate control, you still get that brilliant engine and save over £4000 against the less powerful GTl.

Ford have managed speed, great kit level and style and trounced the competition and there is an estate version and (god help me) a diesel version. I wonder if that will be called the STD?

TECHNICAL STUFF

Model tested: Focus ST3

Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged

Power: 247bhp

Performance: 0-62 6.5 seconds

Top speed: 154mph

Economy: 39.2 combined

Price from: £22,745.00

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