For 2015, there should be little, if any, confusion between the standard 2015 Ford Focus hatchback in the SE or Titanium trim levels with their smoking hot sibling, the Focus ST. But in case there is, let’s explain it this way. For ordinary folks, the Ford Focus SE or Titanium are very nice five-passenger, four-door hatchbacks that deliver a comfortable and economical five-passenger ride with good fuel economy and a reasonable price. Just the right daily driver choice for ordinary drivers going from point A to point B each day.
However, for those extraordinary folks who want some real driving excitement in that journey from point A to point B during the week – plus want to step it up even a notch or two more on the weekend – the well-crafted and enhanced performance 2015 Ford Focus ST is the better choice. Look quick though, the ST leaves the SE and Titanium looking like they are standing still as it races by.
After spending a full week in the new 2015 Ford Focus ST, we are absolutely certain we are not confused and can quickly spot the ST as it whizzes by – especially one in Tangerine Scream.
2015 Ford Focus ST Power Train
Our 2015 Ford Focus ST had a base price of $24,370 and came performance equipped and ready to race with the High-output 2.0L EcoBoost Turbocharged I-4 powered engine with peak output of 252 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and torque peaking at 270 lb.-ft. at 2,500 rpm. With plenty of power to move the 3,223 pound Focus ST, Ford custom crafted a six-speed gearbox to optimize that power using exclusive gear ratios to maximize acceleration in the lower gears with smooth power at speed. The real plus is the short-throw shifter and (almost) intuitive clutch action which makes managing the powertrain almost like it was an automatic. No, there is not an automatic transmission option, but it is not necessary as our Focus ST manual was beyond easy to drive.
The 2015 Focus ST sports an updated suspension that includes all-new front coil springs with MacPherson struts and reverse-L lower control arms. At the rear, the suspension is also updated and includes (also) new coil springs, enhanced gas-charged shock absorbers, and independent short and long- arms with one upper and two lower control arms. The Focus ST uses variable-ratio rack-and-pinion, electric power assisted steering and has electronic differential and stability control to aid in maintaining road traction.
The handling responsiveness of the front wheel drive drivetrain layout is exceptional. Using a well-designed enhanced torque vectoring control with cornering understeer control, we were hard pressed to experience any torque steer all during our week in town, on country roads and out on the highway.
For 2015, the Focus ST runs on 235/40YR18 Goodyear Eagle F1 road hugging summer compound tires that are speed rated at 186 mph. Our test Focus ST came with the optional wheel set – handsome 18-inch Machined Aluminum with Black Painted Pockets and Red Brake Calipers ($495).
As we raced all through Hill Country in Central Texas during the week, we could find no combination of the normally challenging twisting and turning roads that presented any problem for this Focus ST.
2015 Ford Focus ST Exterior
Did we mention the color yet? Our test Focus St came in the only optional color available – the bold Tangerine Scream Tri-Coat ($595). Black racing stripes are available for another $495, but we would not recommend them with this exterior color as we think it would diminish its refined performance look.
Body styling for the 2015 Focus ST is also enhanced. Leaner and meaner is the look with its lower and wider stance, re-sculpted hood, slimmer headlamps and new square fog lamps. A more pronounced front bumper anchors a higher Black honeycomb upper grille and larger lower grille. Focus St also features body color rear roof spoiler plus side skirting and diffuser elements at the twin exhausts to improve aerodynamics. A bolder rear bumper with black inserts completes the lower and wider look.
2015 Ford Focus Interior
Focus ST is a performance car and our test unit added an item or two just for emphasis. Ford will tell you the driver cockpit is all about adding to the drive experience – and, right they are. Our ST interior was called Smoked Storm which is a Gray and Charcoal. It was equipped with what they call the ST2 Package ($2,990) which starts with the driver friendly Recaro Racing Seats in partial leather at the base and bolsters in Tangerine Scream.
Additional features of the ST2 Package were cornering lamps, Dual-zone Electronic Automatic Temperature Control (DEATC), HID headlamps, HD Radio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Audio System from Sony with 10 speakers and SYNC with MyFord Touch and Navigation ($795). A rearview camera is now standard.
Other elements of the interior included the ST hallmark bank of three performance gauges for in the central instrument pod for turbocharger boost pressure, oil temperature and oil pressure information. There is a new, flat-base sports steering wheel with a soft-feel leather covered rim, a satin chrome-topped gear lever and ST pedals plus satin chrome door grab handles and aluminum illuminated scuff plates.
Front seating is ample and comfortable, but – as might be expected – the rear 60/40 seating is a bit tight. We did note that cargo space was satisfactory with 23.8 cubic feet behind the second row and with that row down, a full 44.8 cubic feet available.
Lastly, we would add that the ride quality and absence of cabin noise in our Focus ST was notable – making a high performance drive experience also very comfortable.
The 2015 Ford Focus ST is fuel economy rated at 23/32 mpg city/highway with an expected 26 mpg average. Testing by others reports that, as equipped, our Focus ST can do 0-60 in a bit over 6 seconds.
Fully priced – with delivery – our smoking hot 2015 Ford Focus ST in Tangerine Scream Tri-Coat stickered at $30,070.