Ford product gurus are hard at work flogging prototypes of the Focus GT on challenging roads around the world in preparation of the hot hatch's launch next year.
The car debuted in concept guise at the Paris motor show last October and is the halo of the Focus lineup, packing 246 hp from a turbocharged four-cylinder EcoBoost engine paired with a six-speed manual.
Ford released photos of the Focus ST in light camouflage today as it tries to build momentum for the sporty addition to its small-car lineup. Ford says about 60 prototypes are pounding the pavement at the Nürburgring, on the autobahn and in California and Britain.
The Focus ST will compete against the Mazda Mazdaspeed3 and, to a lesser extent, the Volkswagen GTI in the enthusiast hatch market.
With an upgraded interior, sporty body parts and wild wheels, the Paris prototype was a head-turner. As Ford CEO Alan Mulally said in Paris, "It levitates."