Ford Focus ST: First Look

  • Competes with: Mazdaspeed3, Honda Civic Si, Subaru WRX
  • Looks like: A hatchback with a definite catlike look
  • Drivetrain: 246-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, six-speed manual transmission
  • Hits dealerships: 2012

You’re looking at a Tangerine Scream-colored Ford Focus ST. This is the high-performance version of Ford’s next-generation Focus. The high-powered hatchback will debut at the Paris Motor Show this month, but it isn’t a Europe-only model. It will go on sale in the U.S. sometime in 2012.

That seems awfully far away as we're still awaiting sales of the plain-vanilla next-gen Focus, which won’t begin until early 2011.

We do like all the go-fast looks Ford has added to the ST. Besides the unique paint color, the Focus ST's larger wheels, unique front end, center-mounted dual exhaust pipe and large rear spoiler all alert you to the performance aspects of the model.

The engine will be a modified version of Ford’s turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine, which is good for 246 hp. Ford didn’t formally announce a transmission to go with it, but as is clearly shown in the interior image below, the show car is equipped with a six-speed manual, as it should be.

More details will emerge at a later date, but for now check out larger versions of the photos below by clicking on any of the images.

Ford Focus Ford 2010 Paris Motor Show

Former managing editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon.  Email David