Ford puts engine roar back into hot Focus ST cabin [Video]
Consumers who buy Ford’s first global performance car, are looking for a sporty performance car experience. The ST badge signifies performance, and that's exactly what buyers of the hot hatch are looking for. But Ford made the cabin of the new 2012 Focus ST so quiet, that drivers couldn’t hear the engine in the hot hatch. Ford engineers have refined the cabin too much by putting extra sound proofing materials to minimize sound levels. But drivers who buy the hot Focus ST are looking for the distinctive engine roar that gives the sporty hatch a unique experience.
Ford engineers responded to buyers who said the cabin was too quiet, and developed a device called a Sound Symposer that actually amplifies the engine roar and brings it back into the cabin. The new device is able to electronically control the sound depending on driver input. It can be twice as loud under full acceleration and will remain quiet under moderate acceleration. The Sound Symposer amplifies the sound from the engine and channels it along a pipe to the cabin near the dashboard where it is fully audible to the driver.
Professional racer Tom Chilton, who drives a Ford Focus EcoBoost in the World Touring Car Championship, knows the value of hearing the performance sound while driving. “Even racing drivers appreciate refinement on the road, but when the flag drops, a rich engine note like the Focus ST’s is one of the best noises you can hear. Not only is an on-song engine easy on the ear of any performance car fan, but it also delivers valuable information about what’s happening under the bonnet and provides an important reference for drivers who need to use all of their senses at the wheel.”
Without the Sound Symposer, the 2012 Ford Focus ST has almost zero engine noise inside the cabin under full acceleration. And for driving enthusiasts, that’s just unacceptable. Hearing the powerful 2.0-liter engine is half the fun of driving a performance car. And the Focus ST certainly delivers the performance.
The 2012 Focus ST pumps out 246 horsepower from the 2.0-liter turbocharged EcoBoost powerplant. The ST is quick off the line and accelerates from 0-62 mph in 6.5 seconds and has a top speed of 154mph. The performance is enhanced by a range of driver assistance features like a variable ratio Sport Steering System, a three-stage Electronic Stability Program (ESP) which includes a ‘wide-slip’ mode.