Have you heard? There’s a big-deal happening in Frankfurt, Germany, as we speak. That’s right, the Frankfurt Motor Show! You might think European news and car reveals don’t apply to the U.S. crowd, but you’d be wrong. And way wrong when it comes to the debut of the all-new Ford Focus ST-R racecar. This ST-based Focus has even been purpose-built for the track by Ford Racing in North America as a fully prepped competition car! Under the hood beats the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine, and there’s an FIA-regulation roll cage, a track-tuned suspension and upgraded brakes. It will be available to teams soon, starting in North America, to compete in various series.
You are correct if you were thinking it resembles the Focus ST road car. “From the beginning, the Focus and new Focus ST were designed to be driver’s cars,” said Jost Capito, Director of Global Performance Vehicles and Motorsport Business Development. “The road-going Focus features best-in-class brakes, handling and powertrains and the design and functionality of the various vehicle systems have helped us to develop a global technical specification for teams wanting to race the new Focus cost effectively. Ford Racing in North America has taken this effort and developed the new Focus ST-R and is a perfect example of how a great production car inspires a competitive race car for enthusiasts.”
The Focus ST-R will be available to order from Ford dealers in North America by seasoned hardcore professional drivers, amateur racers and track-day enthusiasts. Ford hopes to expand to additional regions in the future. “This is a competitive turnkey race car that will allow our customers to compete successfully in multiple series around the world with minor modifications. And it shows the on-going alignment of Ford Racing with our Performance Vehicles development group,” said Jamie Allison, Director, Ford Racing.
The Frankfurt debut of the Focus ST-R is part of an aggressive motorsport presence for Ford, as its strategy to support motorsport development across its core global vehicle platforms gains traction. Ford is applying engineering and development expertise for vehicles like the Focus ST-R to spur success in competition similar to that being enjoyed by the Fiesta in RallyCross and the X Games.
For North American customers, the Ford Focus ST-R is the latest in a long line of turnkey race cars offered by the company, including the Mustang FR500C, Mustang FR500S, Mustang Cobra Jet, Boss 302R and Boss 302S. And you performance nuts will love this news: Development work on the Focus ST-R will also result in a range of Ford Racing parts to be made available to racers and enthusiasts around the world.
Ford launched its global motorsport development program last year. At its core is technical support for privateers who chose to compete with global Ford vehicles with access to affordable, globally competitive hardware.
While we’re on the subject of Ford racers, the Frankfurt show was also home to the unveiling of the new 2012-spec Formula Ford. The next-gen Formula Ford cars will run a production-based 1.6-liter EcoBoost, and also boast freedom of chassis design, engine build and numerous technical items of specification, which have always been standout features of Formula Ford, and continues with the 2012 specification car.
Check the 2011 Frankfurt auto show page of theFordStory.com for more updates from Frankfurt throughout the week.