Confirmed: Ford undercuts Honda Civic Type R with NZ Focus ST pricing
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It sadly just missed out on a start in our recent hot hatch shootout. But, no matter. We're still very excited to see that the Ford Focus ST has landed on Kiwi shores.
The new blue oval hot hatch is one of the most highly anticipated performance-car releases of 2020, alongside its pint-sized Fiesta ST cousin. And now Ford New Zealand has confirmed its pricing.
The pocket rocket will start at $59,490. This includes Ford's five-year/unlimited kilometre factory warranty.
The standard Focus upon which the ST is based is naturally rather popular among our team, as last year's AA DRIVEN New Zealand Car of the Year overall victor. Along with being practical and affordable, its other key strength is its handling prowess; clear to see even in foundation models.
The full-fat ST adds a healthy lump of extra power and tech wizardry. Its 206kW/420Nm turbocharged four-cylinder is derived from the last-generation Ford Focus RS, and comes paired to an electronic limited-slip differential, and adaptive suspension.
Michelin Pilot Sport 4S rubber, 330mm/302mm ventilated brake discs, and a pair of heated Recaro buckets are among the plethora of other performance addatives.
Perhaps the biggest bombshell of Ford's pricing announcement and confirmation of specs is the lack of a manual Focus ST variant. Models will exclusively come with a seven-speed paddle-shift automatic only. A sign of the times perhaps, and an interesting counterpoint to the manual-only Honda Civic Type R and Hyundai i30 N (although a dual-clutch is coming soon for the latter).
“The new seven speed auto with paddleshift opens the doors for so many new customers,” said Simon Rutherford, Managing Director, Ford New Zealand.
“Combined with the Fiesta ST for 2020, the Focus ST completes a full suite of Ford Performance hot hatches available in New Zealand. The Focus ST builds on the innovation and tech leadership of the new-generation Focus. [...] It delivers a highly capable, exhilarating yet very liveable performance hatch.”
So, where does the Focus ST stand. Well, as per the headline, it chops the $59,990 Civic Type R by a few hundred bucks and the $62,990 Renault Megane RS by a few grand. The $54,990 i30 N and $56,990 Volkswagen Golf GTI are cheaper, but both pack less power at 202kW and 169kW a piece.