This is the ‘hot-hatch’ version of Kia’s redesigned pro_cee’d, due for launch in the second half of 2013, although the term ‘hot’ might just be a little ambitious for a model powered by a 200bhp 1.6-litre direct-injection turbo engine and offered with either a six-speed manual or double-clutch transmission.
Following its movie debut this Summer in the crime thriller, The Sweeney, the Police have taken such a liking to Ford’s all-new ST that they’re now evaluating it for official duties.
I should be used to it, after witnessing six previous generations of Volkswagen Golf, but somehow I still kid myself that the next one will be different.
It never is, although perhaps that’s not such a bad thing, because the Golf GTI remains the one car that every other car maker aspires to beat, and thus far it remains the benchmark sporting hatchback that does everything well, and some things exceptionally well.
Ford’s first global high performance model and a star attraction for Ford in Paris, the powerful new Focus ST show car was revealed today…
Following our supertest feature ‘Fierce Creatures’, we can now bring you our two-part video of the quickest and most characterful hot hatchbacks on sale today.
Hot hatches have always been the mainstay of affordable high-performance driving. Chris Harris tests six of the quickest and most characterful examples on road and track.
After the success of our long-term Focus ST260 Mountune we’re eagerly awaiting our first drive in the new Focus RS. The Mountune upgraded demonstrated the depth of untapped potential within the Focus ST, and with the resources of Ford’s RS engineers we can only only imagine how much further they have taken the humble Focus.
What happens when you put our Focus ST260 Mountune together against a 300 bhp Graham Goode Racing Focus ST?
Well DR reader Vlad Ilyushchenko was kind enough to join us at Bruntingthorpe during our Hot Hatch shootout feature to find out. The 2-mile straight at Bruntingthorpe beckons and Chris Harris is our man in the Mountune ST..
We deliberated long into the night. The tender for DR’s end-of-term bash had already been vexing the directors’ of the major international raceways for a few months when the deadline approached. Despite strong pitches from Fuji and Laguna Seca and an impassioned appeal from B. Ecclestone Esq to consider his little place at Paul Ricard, we fell for the charms of the 900 yard Curborough Sprint Course. Nothing else came close.
DR’s long term test fleet head to Curborough, the toughest sprint track in the civilised world (well, near Lichfield) for an end of year party that not even Hugh Heffner could match.