It's also almost 20 years old.
The Ford Focus ST is dead. So is the all-wheel drive Focus RS. The entire Focus lineup is finished in the US following Ford's decision to eliminate all cars from its lineup, save for the Mustang. Whether or not this was the right business decision remains to be seen, but hot hatchback fans are definitely not pleased. Just as Ford began to get serious again with the segment, the party was suddenly over.
For years, Ford's US hot hatches were limited edition models, such as the Focus SVT. Launched for the 2002 model year, the Focus SVT was the product of the Special Vehicle Team in-house performance division that was disbanded in 2014 when Ford Performance took its place. At the time, the first-generation Focus was still on the market though it was approaching the end of its product cycle.
To help give the wildly popular original Focus a proper sendoff, a hot hatch variant was approved and the Focus SVT was the result. Power came from a modified version of the 2.0-liter Zetec engine, only this one was co-developed with famed UK engine builder Cosworth. Compared to the standard Zetec motor, this one received a special aluminum cylinder, high compression pistons and forged connecting rods, and a dual-stage intake manifold, among other modifications.
Along with an increased compression ratio, total output increased from 130 horsepower to 170 hp. Ford even sourced the same Getrag six-speed manual, which routed power to the front wheels, found in the Mini Cooper S. Engineers then added larger disc brakes on all four wheels, a stiffened suspension, and more precise steering.
The interior received leather seats, and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, an optional power sunroof, a seven-speaker audio system, and a cold-weather package with heated seats. For its first model year, only a three-door body style was offered though the five-door arrived in 2003 and remained available until 2004, the SVT's final model year. The Focus SVT was built in decent numbers but a majority of surviving examples have been modified. Not this one, currently up for auction on Cars and Bids.
Just one of 1,260 examples painted silver, this 2002 Focus SVT three-door is in remarkably good condition despite its 109,600 miles. The auction will end next Tuesday and, as of this writing, the highest bid was $2,002. This little and rare pocket rocket deserves a good home.