2020 Ford Focus ST | 0-100Km/h Tested

CarAdvice.com has tested the new 2020 Ford Focus ST. Making 273 hp, it should be much faster than previous generations. The new Focus ST is available with either a manual or automatic transmission, and they’ve tested them both.

Their tests have revealed that the manual transmission 2020 Ford Focus ST goes 0-100Km/h in fairly quick 6.1 seconds. The automatic transmission version of the car is faster than the manual, reaching 0-100Km/h in 5.7 seconds. Watch the video to see the test and their other thoughts on the new Focus ST.

2020 Ford Focus ST Reviewed

For over 17 years now, the Ford Focus ST has been a popular enthusiast choice. The series started with a Volvo 5-cylinder, and through many changes, has grown in popularity through the decades. It’s positioned itself as a rational sports car. While the 3rd generation is fantastic, is the new 4th generation version worthy of the name?

When Ford releases a new car with the ST name, there’s a certain expectation that’s set. Ford’s record with performance cars is prestigious. From the Cortina to previous Target generations, including the many Escorts, their record is remarkable. They’ve shown they can make great cars, both on the track and road. Since the advent of the Ford Focus RS, the Focus ST is not the highest performance model.

Exterior Design

The Ford Focus represents a bit of a styling change. The proportions do not change from the previous edition. The lines seem to have softened a little bit. The fenders are more prominent, the bonnet’s curvature rounded off a bit. The lines have been modernized, but the general style remains the same. The biggest visual change is, of course, the grille. It sacrifices the Aston Martin like stying in favor of a “smiling” style. I liked the previous style more, as I found it more aggressive. The new design is more effective for a less sporty edition. The effect is the opposite at the rear. The 3rd generation Focus was blander than this new model.

The car we tested is the sedan. We also saw the station wagon up close, and they knocked it out of the park with that too. Especially with the beautiful candy red paint. It’s less discrete than the orange, which is still nice. Funny detail about this classic Focus ST color, depending on the lighting, it looks very different. It looks very vivid in the early daylight but pale yellow and even white in the sunset.

A point of interest if you’d like to tow anything, the new Focus is swapping its main exhaust for two side outlets on either side of the bumper. A crucial detail if you’d like to tow a small camper or a trailer with a track toy. I’d consider this new Focus ST seriously if looking for a practical family car.

Interior Design

The interior architecture, like all sporty compacts, is, at best, an upgraded version of the more practical models. It has upgraded seats and steering wheel, with nicer trim. The dashboard doesn’t burst with originality, and the infotainment screen put on top of the dashboard isn’t the most elegant. Yet, the interior is much nicer than the previous generation. Cost efficiency must take precedence over design in places.

Compared to the 3rd generation Focus ST, the seats have been overhauled, and that is a wonderful thing. The previous seats were not the most comfortable. Now both are gentle on the rear while giving excellent support all around.

The Focus ST ‘s driver comfort doesn’t suffer from any particular criticism. The settings for the seat and steering wheel are broad enough to allow all sizes to find their place.

Driving on the road

The Focus ST has set the tone right from the start. Until recently, the 2.3L 4-cylinder was shared with the Mustang and the previous Focus RS. The deep sound is flattering, and it almost sounds like a Subaru boxer engine. The Focus does not sacrifice too much comfort for its sportiness. The damping is very soft on the passengers’ backs for a sports car. This, along with the seat comfort, would almost make you doubt the capabilities of this car. And yet, as soon we start to put our foot down, the beast’s 280hp is obviously there.

The engine’s capabilities are obvious, while those of the front axle are confirmed when it can take power with minimal torque steer. With the damp conditions the test was performed in, the Focus ST did not suffer from traction loss. On a straight or in a curve, the steering wheel remains easy to control (thanks to the limited-slip differential). It is easy to point the car exactly where you want it. The car is reassuringly steady in wide curves, as it is in small turns. It’s possible to shift the car’s weight and end up in a drift. In short, the Focus ST, like its predecessor, succeeds in performance and being fun to drive.

I get the feeling that the newest model has slowed down a bit compared to the previous ST. It remains playful but turns out to be a little more sloppy, which can be explained by its increased weight.

On circuit

If the road check highlights the flexibility of the Focus ST, then a few laps around the track strengthens its sportiness further. When the car is engaged in Sport mode or Track mode, the suspension stiffens and the engine gets louder. In this setting, the Focus doesn’t let up. It remains easily maneuverable. The driver can choose between sliding through corners or keeping traction with a lift of the foot. The Ford shows itself, in all cases, to be an excellent driver’s car.


Ford has secured its bet once more with a Focus ST worthy of its legacy. On a daily driving basis, and enjoyable when it comes to driving on the track. It is definitely less revolutionary than many of its rivals, but it does it all well and still helps you to have fun at a fair price.

The New 2020 Ford Focus ST

The Ford Focus ST has received a ton of improvements since the first one in 2002. After 4 generations, it’s improved more than any of its rivals.

After Ford saw great success with the launch of the first Ford Focus, the first Ford Focus ST170 launched in 2002. It had a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, a conservative 170 hp. The feel of the car was more like a more luxurious trim level than a proper enthusiast driving machine.

In 2005, Ford released the second generation of the Focus ST. Premier Automotive Group, comprised of Ford-owned brands including Volvo, was doing better than ever. The second-generation Focus ST got a five-cylinder Volvo engine. This new engine gave the car a significant power increase, up to 225 hp.

In 2012, the third generation Focus ST was release. It got a two-liter, four-cylinder Ford engine once again. This time the engine had a turbocharger. It got another power increase up to 250 hp after PAG failed and the companies under it were sold.

With the fourth-generation Ford Focus ST, the engine has changed yet again. It now has a 2.3 liter, 4 cylinder engine. It’s making 273 hp, a huge increase from the last generation yet again.

Ford has pushed to build a car that’s both dynamic and fun to drive, but also a capable family hatchback. The Ford Focus ST now has a ton of electronic and mechanical features that it’s never had before.

A look at the Focus ST trims

The Focus ST is available in the form of a five-door hatchback or a more spacious station wagon. It also offers two engine choices: the 273 hp gasoline engine and a diesel engine with 188 hp.

While car enthusiasts are likely to prefer the five-door gas hatch, the diesel wagon is another option. It’s designed for those looking for a more utilitarian vehicle with a bit of extra performance. Standard equipment is a great value, which includes GPS, heated steering wheel, Recaro seats, and more.

Ford Focus ST

Tuning The Ford Focus ST with Cobb’s AccessPORT

Cobb is one of the most well known companies in the aftermarket automotive performance world, and that’s largely thanks to the Cobb AccessPORT. The AccessPORT allows for flashing new tunes to the ECU of many turbocharged cars, including Subaru, Mazda, Ford, BMW, and Porsche. This allows for installing aftermarket parts and unlocking hidden potential in the engine that’s been held back by the stock tune.

The AccessPORT comes preloaded with various different tunes, made for different modifications, such as intakes and exhausts. There are stage 1 and stage 2 tunes included as off-the-shelf tunes, so you can quickly get your car running safely after you’ve installed your performance modifications.

Flashing a new tune to the Focus ST with the Cobb AccessPORT is easy. The AccessPORT simply plugs into the OBD-II port beneath the dash, and then using the on screen menus, the appropriate tune can be selected and the flashing process can begin. Cobb recommends using a battery charger while flashing a tune to make sure your car’s battery doesn’t die in the middle of the process. If the ECU flash fails due to battery failure, then the car may be inoperable without sending the ECU into Cobb for it to be reflashed back to a valid tune.

The AccessPORT adds some additional features to the car as well. The flat foot shifting lets you set an independent rev limit while you’re shifting between gears, so that you can keep your foot on the gas as you shift into the next gear, keeping boost pressure up for better acceleration. It has a launch control feature, allowing you to set another independent rev limit for while the car is stopped. Before you launch the car, you can depress the gas and clutch, and the car will rev up to your selected RPM, building boost, and allowing the car to launch faster when you let your foot off the clutch.

Cobb allows custom tunes to be made for the AccessPORT through their AccessTUNER software. You can use the AccessTUNER Race software after taking a course that allows you to become familiar with the different ECU tables and changes required. The more advanced AccessTUNER Pro software is limited to professionals who run tuning businesses. There are many Cobb certified dyno shops if you want a pro-tune, and many e-tuners that will make you a custom tune through e-mail without ever meeting.

The Cobb AccessPORT is an excellent choice for tuning the Ford Focus ST and improving its performance.