Ford's hot hatch could cost under 1.3 million baht; exports planned to Australia
The ST really suits the Focus' image here...
It certainly does, my friend, because the latest generation model really stands out in Thai C-segment with its sporty-looking hatchback version.
Note the bespoke bumpers, wheels, red-coloured brake calipers, central-mounted exhaust and ST badge. And check the interior with the Recaro seats _ it really makes the ST live up to the Focus' sporty bill.
What will its power be like?
The latest Focus ST sold in Europe comes with a 250hp 2.0-litre petrol-turbo engine developed under the brand's Ecoboost philosophy. Although the engine size is attractive for Thai excise taxation, the power isn't.
Because of that, Ford is proposing to its parent firm to detune the output to 219hp due to the 220hp tax barrier. The ST would then attract just 30% instead of the maximum 50%.
Sources told Life that performance will hardly be affected, so expect the 0-100kph run to be timed at around 6.5sec for the Thai-spec ST. Exports to Australia _ albeit in the untouched 250hp form _ are being considered to boost economies of scale at Ford's Rayong plant in eastern Thailand.
Another special feature for the ST to appeal in Asia is the six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox; the Europeans only get a manual option.
The ST should be sold at a bargain price, then...
It should, since it can escape the 80% import duty and 50% excise tax. If imported in untouched form, the ST would cost about 3.5 to 4 million baht _ just like how the Volkswagen Golf R would.
Subaru has detuned its Impreza WRX to 220hp, explaining the circa 2.5 million baht price tag. But it's still an import.
So with the idea of a Focus ST being bolted in Thailand, it could cost under 1.3 million baht _ just a shade dearer than the Focus equipped with a 170hp 2.0-litre petrol motor.
Cool! When is Ford going to make a formal announcement?
Yes, this is certainly exciting news for car enthusiasts in Thailand because the high import duties preferred by the country's backward-thinking politicians utterly hamper the entry of many fine-driving (and technically advanced) cars.
But if you really like to know whether the Thai-built Focus ST will really get off the ground, you should take note of the particular day this story is appearing on.
Focus ST gets Recaro seats.
About the author
- Writer: Richard Leu
Position: Motoring news Editor