Lionel Santoso, Ford Performance product manager in Australia, told CarsGuide while the Blue Oval brand listed the GTI as a main rival during development, the Focus ST ended up being a “crisper car”.
“Volume-wise, [the Golf GTI is] the biggest player [but] that’s not what we targeted. We wanted a much sharper, crisper car,” Santoso told the publication.
With the all-paw Focus RS project having been scrapped, Santoso was asked whether a hotter version of the Focus ST was on the cards to take on the likes of the Golf GTI TCR.
“We recognise Golf GTI has iterations in its lifecycle, but at the moment, we have no news for an additional model,” he said.
Of course, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa confirmed to CARmag.co.za back in July 2019 it had “no current plans” to bring the new, fourth-generation Focus (nor the ST) to local shores.
As a reminder, the Focus ST employs a turbocharged 2,3-litre four-cylinder petrol engine (worth 206 kW and 420 N.m), linked to either a six-speed manual gearbox or a new seven-speed automatic transmission.
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.