JAY RAMEY

Ford's 2019 Focus ST will pack 2.3-liter EcoBoost motor

Jay Ramey is an associate editor with Autoweek, an affiliate of Automotive News.

The next generation Ford Focus ST, which is expected to debut at the 2019 Geneva motor show, will use a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, Autocar reports, up from the current 2.00-liter turbo. The four-cylinder will be a version used by the current Focus RS (in which it churns out 350 hp) but will be tuned to around 250 hp for the front-wheel-drive ST. This engine will be paired exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission; an automatic will not be on the menu at all.

That's not all the ST will offer: The new Focus will be some 194 pounds lighter than the outgoing model, in addition to having a structure 20 percent more rigid, Autocar notes. The ST can be expected to shed a few more pounds, though perhaps not as much as the next Focus RS.

Ford reportedly chose the 2.3-liter over the 1.5-liter borrowed from the Fiesta ST because the smaller engine would have to run close to its limit to produce the output Ford wants. Indeed, it's much easier to modify the 2.3-liter EcoBoost, which can churn out as much as 370 hp in the Focus RS Red Edition, to produce 250 hp than to pump up the smaller 1.5-liter three-cylinder produce 250 hp.

 

The 1.5-liter isn't completely out of the picture -- it will still power lesser versions of the Focus amid a general downsizing trend before hybridization really takes off. Given reports that the next RS will feature a hybrid powerplant, the ST can be seen as the last of the line when it comes to pure internal combustion power in hot versions of the Focus.

When will we see the ST on sale? Ford has pushed back the debut to early 2019, making the Geneva motor show a natural candidate for its first appearance in production guise. Sales are expected to start in spring 2019.

 

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