Ford may be shifting away from passenger cars and into SUVs and pick-up trucks, but its Focus hatchback is still an important model for the Blue Oval in Europe, so much so that it remains committed to building a hot hatch for the region. And if these images – which Carscoops pulled from a private forum – are any indication, the upcoming ST will be quite a tasty looker indeed. This undisguised unit, painted in the signature searing orange hue, sports a few choice visual upgrades over the standard Focus, including a honeycomb mesh for the trapezoidal grille, larger air intakes with contrasting matte black surrounds, a sizeable gloss black rear spoiler and a rear diffuser with a body colour insert. The ST’s usual centre exhaust exits have been swapped out for circular pipes at each corner. Other items of note include the side skirts, Y-spoke alloy wheels and black door handles, as well as heavily-bolstered, ST-branded Recaro seats on the inside to go with the … [Read more...] about 2019 Ford Focus ST undisguised ahead of world debut
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If your car has developed a fault, or for consumer advice, turn to Honest John by emailing [email protected] The meaning of life You advise owners of the Ford Focus and various Volkswagens to change the timing belts of their cars at 60,000 miles or five years. Does this advice apply to all makes? The maintenance guide for my 2012 Citroen C5 2.0 HDi 160, which has done 85,000 miles, says it should be changed at 100,000 miles or 10 years, whichever comes first, and that service schedule was confirmed by my Citroen dealer. Should I change the belt on my car now just in case? RD After it became clear that the life of these belts wasn’t quite as long as had been predicted, many manufacturers introduced shorter replacement intervals. If a timing belt does snap, valves can hit pistons and effectively reduce an engine to scrap. If your dealer will guarantee in writing that the belt will not snap or come off and wreck your engine before 100,000 miles, take his advice. … [Read more...] about Honest John: only take a car dealer’s advice if he guarantees it in writing
Has the Blue Oval revealed what's powering its new hot hatch with a sticker fitted to all Mk4 Focuses? We've seen reports the next-generation Ford Focus ST will get an adaptation of the 2.3-litre four-cylinder EcoBoost engine from the current Focus RS, and we've heard the industry chatter, but a picture posted on Facebook (above) by an eagle-eyed fan has all but confirmed it.Posted on a Ford Focus RS forum on the social media site, this image appears to come from a fourth-generation Focus ST, revealing it'll be powered by a 2.3L GDTI engine. A bit of digging through our archives, however, has revealed the same sticker is fitted to all Mk4 Focus engine bays – check out this photo.The sticker seemingly confirms a report published in Autocar claiming the new ST power plant will have "close technical links" to the engine in the outgoing Focus RS.It's likely to make a more front-drive friendly 200-220kW instead of the 254kW offered in the all-wheel drive RS, which will … [Read more...] about 2019 Ford Focus ST: 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine confirmed?
Is there a more vibrant and diverse segment on the market right now than that labelled ‘hot hatch’? In fact, is it technically a segment at all, but rather a broad net cast wide enough to include a $25K compact-sized Suzuki Swift Sport at one extreme and larger, circa-$80K Audi RS3s and Merc-AMG A45s at the other? And that’s just hatchbacks. When cross-shopping pocket rockets, there are also sedan (Subaru WRX STI), coupe (BMW M2) and wagon (AMG CLA45 Shooting Brake) alternatives to consider as well. The go-fast hatch goalposts are also perpetually moving: today’s ‘warm hatch’ is yesterday’s ‘hot’, the current ‘hot’ is the new ‘hyper’, and traditional hyper-hatch spearheads – gen-II Renault Megane RS, say – look to inevitably become overshadowed by ever-more potent and monstrous machinery. Buyers are just spoilt for choice in variety, size, style, price and even driven wheel type, with the playing … [Read more...] about 2018 Hot Hatch Mega Test