Fordfocus St

Bidding a fond farewell tc the blown, 2.5-litre five-pot from the Focus RS, the new ST will use Ford's leaner, greener 2.0-litre EcoBoost. That's still good for 244bhp though, which should make the latest fast Focus a convincing rival to the well-established Megane RS and Coif GTI.

turbocharged from the Subaru catabgue, the former with a modest 150bhp (good for insurance/cost and CO, cleanliness purposes), the other with anything up to the current WRX STi's 300bhp/300lb ft output. The price-tag was mooted as being under £20k for the basic model, slapping it directly into the path of the likes of fast front-wheel-drive, hot-hatch coupes like the Scirocco and Megane RS, but also dealing itself in to play against heavier hitters like the Golf R and BMW 1-Series.

Since then, there have been many rumours. We've heard the development costs have gone up, the car has become heavier and more upmarket (possib y to accommodate a 4dr platfcrm for the next-gen Lexus IS), even that there will be a hybrid drivetrain not dissimilar to that in the Honda CR-Z, somewhat missing the point. That the engine may be releqated to something between the two power options by being a naturally aspirated 2.5-litre 4cyl and/or a 3.6-litre flat six. Rcbbing us of simplicity and implying extra cost. In fact, the FT-86 has been around for so long that Toyota's even shown a modified version, the FT-86 G-Sports concept at the 2010 Australian motor show. The worry is that the late 2011 slot might be pushed back further. We sincerely hope not.

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