While the engine and powertrain essentially remains the same as before, this facelifted Focus ST from 2015 onwards sees a considerable amount of change made cosmetically to its looks.
The front of the pre-facelift ST may not have won every fast-Ford fan over, but it was certainly distinct from anything else wearing a Focus badge. This facelifted version however brings the ST back in line with the rest of the Focus range, with a front design that complements its smaller Fiesta sibling.
The well-rounded face has now gone and is replaced by a more angular snout. The large centre grille has been raised, enlarging both the lower valance and foglight surrounds beneath it.
The round headlights of old have been replaced by something slimmer and more angular, with ST-2 and ST-3 models featuring the sleek LED daytime-running lights.
At night, the light arrangement with the ST3s xenon headlights look quite similar to a Toyota GT86.
Elsewhere, the old, round foglights are now rectangular (looking cheaper in my opinion), the bonnet has been resculpted, and on the whole, the Focus ST looks both easier on the eye and much more aggressive than before.
View the facelifted model from the side and it’s pretty much the same. The large rear spoiler remains, being more angular and squared-off compared to the Zetec S models, and the side skirts are left unchanged.
The only giveaway hints are from the smaller wraparound rear light clusters.
The 5-spoke 19″ wheels here are new and come as part of the Style Pack, which include tinted rear windows and illuminated scuff plates up front.
Head round to the rear and the redesign brings smaller light clusters, a heightened shoulder line that raises the number plate (and removes the cheap-looking strip the Ford badge used to nestle on), and a larger valance above the exhaust on the bumper.
It’s more of a mixed success here in my opinion: when the facelift was first unveiled the shrunken rear light clusters looked like a nod towards the Nissan Juke in terms of size and placement. Gladly, the wraparound design feature of the pre-facelift has remained but I have warmed to them over time.
The rear valance is less convincing and makes the rear more fussy than before.It’s a shame the vast, full-width swathes of grey plastic cheapen it further than it would with a black finish.
Luckily, the central exhaust remains untouched.
Inside – changes to facelifted models
The centre console has been redesigned to tidy up the slew of buttons featured on the pre-facelift model. A large up-to-date touchscreen infotainment system with Ford’s Windows-based SYNC2 software is now installed with shortcut buttons placed beneath -moving the central locking button that used to live here to the driver’s door.
The climate control system has had an overhaul too, with the buttons directing air-flow laid out in a similar fashion to those found in Volvo’s of recent years. An additional, faster-charging USB port now sits below at the base of the dash (great for linking dashcams).
Look down at the centre console and the handbrake has now been shifted back, with the 12V socket and buttons for Stop/start and Sport Mode sat beside the gearlever instead.
Inside – ST detailing
The flat-bottomed steering wheel is a bit naff but at least it can be optioned to be heated.
Replacing the old four-spoke wheel, it loses much of the old design’s intuitive button placement.
The dials are now dressed in a different font, being less italic and giving a smarter and mature look.
Our ST-2 brings a dash of exterior body colour from the part-leather Recaro seats (the all-grey / black items in the ST3 are a bit more sombre) and the three dials mounted centrally remain in their own pod, showing turbo boost pressure, oil temperature and turbo oil pressure info.
The black headlining, silver gearknob and pedals finish off the ST treatment.
Spec: ST-2 2016 Engine: 2.0T Petrol, 247bhp (@ 6,000rpm), 254lb ft (265lb ft @ 1,750rpm overboost) Transmission: 6 Speed Manual Mpg: Official: 41.5 mpg Achieved: 30.64 – 33.1mpg Performance: 0-62mph: 6.5 Secs, 154mph Colour: Tangerine Scream Running Period: Spring 2016 – Options: ST Style Pack( 19" 5-Spoke Alloy Wheels, Privacy Glass, Illuminated Scuff Plates, Red Brake Calipers), City Pack (Rear Parking Sensors, Folding Mirrors), SYNC2 DAB Navigation System, Cruise Control + Active Speed Limiter.