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Ford Focus ST 2020 pricing and spec confirmed: Automatic transmission available for the first time

Powered by a 2.3-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine, the Ford Focus ST produces 206kW/420Nm.

Ford Australia’s new Focus ST hot hatch will arrive in local showrooms early next year priced from $44,690, available in either six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmission forms – the latter a first for the nameplate.

Both however, are powered by the same 2.3-litre turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder petrol engine borrowed from the previous-generation Focus RS and entry-level Mustang.

Under the bonnet of the new Focus ST, the engine develops 206kW of power and 420Nm of torque, a substantial lift over its predecessor’s 184kW/360Nm output.

Three-pedal Focus STs also sport rev-matching technology, while its automatic counterparts feature paddle shifters and a manual mode.

Built on the same C2 platform as the rest of the fourth-generation Focus range, the new ST boasts more cabin space, a larger cargo capacity and 20 per cent stiffer torsional rigidity compared with its predecessor.

To take the fight to other hot hatches including the Volkswagen Golf GTI and Hyundai i30 N, Ford has fitted the new Focus ST with 19-inch wheels shod in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres, sports suspension, and 330mm front and 302mm rear brake discs.

Four drive modes are also available – Slippery, Normal, Sport and Track – which adjust settings such as traction control, throttle response and electronic sound enhancement settings.

From the outside, the ST stands out from the rest of the Focus range thanks to unique badging, a honeycomb front grille, LED head- and tail-lights, sculpted side skirts, dual chrome exhaust tips and rear spoiler.

Inside, heated Recaro front sports seats, aluminium pedals, wireless smartphone charger, push-button start, dual-zone climate control and flat-bottom leather steering wheel are fitted, as is a 8.0-inch Sync3 multimedia system with satellite navigation, voice activation and Bluetooth connectivity.

Taking centre stage of the cabin is a 8.0-inch Sync3 multimedia system. Taking centre stage of the cabin is a 8.0-inch Sync3 multimedia system.

Safety equipment includes autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian and cyclist detection, blind-spot monitoring with cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and reversing camera.

Only two options are available on the Focus ST, prestige paint and a panoramic sunroof for $650 and $2500 respectively.