The Ford Focus ST is getting a diesel engine to keep it competitive with other fuel-sipping hot hatchbacks, like the Volkswagen Golf GTD. While it sacrifices horsepower, it still offers a spirited drive from 0 to 60 MPH and the same fun-to-drive suspension. Just don’t expect the diesel option to come to the United States.
Using a 2.0 liter common-rail turbodiesel in place of the 2.0 liter EcoBoost the Focus ST normally comes with, diesel drivers will make due just 180 horsepower instead of 252 galloping ponies, though everything else stays the same. That means the same track-tuned suspension, Recaro racing seats, and torque-vectoring limited-slip differential as the gas-powered Focus ST, just with a more-efficient diesel.
The obvious target here is the Golf GTD, and while the Focus ST diesel has one extra horsepower, it takes a full 8.0 seconds to go from 0 to 60 MPH, compared to the 7.6 second sprint of the Volkswagen. It’s still plenty fast for most drivers, and fuel economy should be a step up from the normal Focus ST, which gets as much as 34 MPG on the highway on the U.S. rating system. Over in Europe, a diesel-powered Focus should be well into the 40 MPG range.
For 2015, Ford has given the Focus a new look that brings it in line with the rest of the corporate fleet, as well as more standard technology to make it a top competitor in the compact car market. The addition of a potent but potentially still fuel-efficient diesel to the Ford’s hot hatchback lineup makes it even more appealing to buyers used to dealing with $9 a gallon fuel. Speaking of gas prices, still no mention of the Ford Focus Electric.
But Americans shouldn’t hold their breath, as Ford remains ambivalent towards U.S. diesel sales. At least we’ll be safe from Focus STD jokes.