The Ford Focus ST-R coming to a track near you
The new Ford Focus ST will hit America’s roads and byways next year and the company has a born-to-run production model Focus ST-R in the works for small car speedsters.
A first cousin to the Focus ST street model, the Focus ST-R is distinctive beneath the skin as a variant built expressly for the track by Ford Racing in North America – a fully prepared competition car. It features a powerful 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine, FIA-regulation roll cage, enhanced brakes and a track-tuned suspension.
The Focus ST-R will be available to race teams soon in a variety of series circuits. No doubt one will soon be coming to a racetrack near you.
The all-new Focus ST-R has been assembled with technical support from Ford’s Global Performance Vehicles group, allowing it to compete in a number of racing series, including Grand-Am ST, World Challenge TC and the Canadian Touring Car events. Ford also expects teams to race the car in European motorsports series and major events such as the 24 Hours of Nürburgring.
Its kinship to the new Focus ST road car is no accident.
“From the beginning, the Focus and new Focus ST were designed to be drivers’ cars,” said Jost Capito, director of Global Performance Vehicles and Motorsport Business Development. “The road-going Focus features the best-in-class brakes, handling and powertrain, and the design and functionality of the various vehicle systems have helped us to develop a global technical specification for teams wanting to race the new Focus cost-effectively. Ford Racing in North America has taken this effort and developed the new Focus ST-R. It’s a perfect example of how a great production car inspires a competitive race car for enthusiasts.”
Focus ST-R will be available to order from Ford dealers in North America by hardcore professional drivers, amateur racers and track-day enthusiasts as well. Ford’s will broaden availability to more regions sometime soon.
“We’re thrilled to be taking the Focus ST-R from concept to reality for motorsports enthusiasts initially in North America and potentially around the world,” said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. “The previous turnkey race cars we developed for North American racing have been hugely successful, so we’re hopeful the ST-R will be the first such vehicle for global series and – as a direct result of the company’s global platform strategy and our technical support program – for motorsports applications of Focus and Fiesta models.”
Because the Focus ST-R is a production-based road race car, it features stock body panels and production parts where possible.
“People who buy one will get a fully prepared race car that will only need communications equipment and the customer’s decals to go racing,” added Allison. “We’ve already had significant interest in this vehicle from numerous established race teams.”
The Focus ST-R is simply the most recent in a long line of turnkey race cars from Ford including the Mustang FR500C, Mustang FR500S, Mustang Cobra Jet, Boss 302R and Boss 302S.
Another consequence of the Focus ST-R also will be a wider range of Ford Racing parts available to racers and enthusiasts the world over.
The Frankfurt Motor Show's debut earlier this year and this month’s first North American close-up look at the Focus ST-R at the coming Los Angeles Auto Show is all part of Ford’s strategy to support motorsports development as the core global vehicle platforms gain traction. Ford is applying engineering and development expertise for vehicles like Focus ST-R to spur success in competitions similar to that enjoyed by the Fiesta in RallyCross and X Games.
“Just as we are developing performance cars from our vehicle platforms with global customers in mind, we’re taking the same platform approach with motorsports,” said Capito. “The intent is to leverage our central motorsports engineering expertise to get competitive hardware in the hands of private teams and racers all around the world, and the Focus ST-R is the latest proof.”
The global Focus racecar development – a major plank in Ford’s new global motorsports strategy – is based on international S2000 regulations.
Ford’s global motorsports development program was launched last year. It is essentially based on technical support for speedsters who choose to compete with Ford vehicles by providing access to affordable and globally competitive hardware.
“We expect to see the ST-R competing for wins on a global scale, extending the rich racing and rallying heritage Focus has already gained both on tarmac and on dirt,” Capito added.