Wed. Oct 27th, 2021

Ford’s rival to the Volkswagen Golf GTI has received a mid-life facelift as the rest of the Ford Focus small cars reach out of Australia.

Alex Misoyannis

That facelifted 2022 Ford Focus ST hot hatch has been unveiled in Europe ahead of Australian arrivals in the first half of next year.

Unveiled just weeks after photos of the updated Ford Fiesta ST hot hatch sibling were released, changes to the Ford Focus ST in 2022 include updated styling and new safety and infotainment technology.

Power off 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine (206kW and 420Nm) remains the same as no mechanical upgrades have been made.

Two variants of the updated hot hatch will be offered in Australia: a standard Focus ST with less equipment than today’s model and a more expensive, better equipped ST X version.

A new nose characterizes the updated model with a reshaped front fascia, a larger grille, a honeycomb net in the lower bumper and slimmer headlights.

Standard, entry-level Focus ST comes with LED headlights; The ST-X with range gets ‘matrix’ LED headlights that bend around corners or empty part of their beam so they do not dazzle oncoming traffic.

A new set of 18-inch wheels is standard on the ST base, which is upgraded to 19-inch wheels on the ST X (the same design is currently offered as standard on all Focus STs in Australia).

The taillights have a new LED signature with darker elements, while a new Mean Green hue is also available (shared with Fiesta ST and Puma ST).

The current Focus ST’s 8.0-inch Sync 3 touchscreen has been replaced by a new one 13.2-inch landscape touch screen, which now runs Ford’s Sync 4 infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto wireless, voice recognition, 3D satellite and live traffic satellite navigation, connected services and support for the FordPass phone app.

Climate control discs and switches have been swapped for digital controls integrated into the touch screen, in line with the main competitor to the Ford Focus ST, the eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf GTI.

A 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster — introduced in Australia late last year — transfers from earlier.

Front passengers now sit on new ‘Performance’ sports seats designed internally by Ford Performance to replace the outgoing model’s Recaro buckets and “given the approval stamp” of Campaign for healthier backs in Europe, abbreviated to AGR (from its German name, Healthy back campaign)

The new seats are upholstered in leather and suede (with red seams) and offer as standard heating as well as 14-way electric adjustment with setting of four-way lumbar support adjustment.

On the safety front, new features for the facelifted Focus ST include an upgraded blind-spot monitoring system – which can steer away from a collision and drive up to 200 km / h – along with crossing support for the autonomous emergency braking system to avoid collisions if the vehicle turns over the road of an oncoming car.

These topics include adaptive cruise control (with stop and go in automatic models), lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, reverse alarm, and pedestrian, car and cyclist functionality for the autonomous emergency braking system.

Driving the 2022 Focus ST is one 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine transferred from the outgoing car, developed 206 kW and 420Nm.

It is guided to the front wheels through a seven-speed automatic transmission with paddle changers as standard — which accounted for about 70 percent of sales of the current Focus ST — or as a free solution, a six-speed manual.

An electronically limited slip differential and adaptive dampers are standard across the range, with Australia’s Focus ST X having a Track drive mode (with unique stability control and steering tuning) and the aforementioned 19-inch wheels.

That 2022 Ford Focus ST facelift sold in Australia in second quarter of 2022 (April to June inclusive).

Prices and specifications will be announced closer to launch, but increases are likely due to the increased standard equipment levels. The current range is priced from $ 44,890 before on-road costs for entry-level ST-1 and $ 47,990 before on-road costs for the limited-drive ST-3.

Alex Misoyannis

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed to Drive in 2018 before joining CarAdvice in 2019 and became a regular contributing journalist to the news team in 2020. Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flipping through car magazines as a youngster, to growing up around performance cars in a car-loving family.

Read more about Alex Misoyannis

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