Following the demise of the RS, new emissions regulations sign the death warrant of the Focus ST.
The US' relationship with the ST brand might have been a short-lived one, but when Ford announced that it would be discontinuing the Focus ST, along with the rest of the passenger vehicle range in April of 2018, enthusiasts across the nation went into mourning. After all, the Focus ST and its smaller sibling the Fiesta ST were all excellent driver's cars that delivered potent performance, at low prices.
Ford Performance Europe manager, Stefan Muenzinger has indicated that due to European emissions regulations, the current generation of Focus ST cars could be the last. "Manufacturers must meet CO2 targets, If you do a fully conventional 'RS style' product with CO2 emissions above 200g/km, that really hurts you for your overall fleet compliance. It has a negative impact due to CO2 and penalties." he said.
This follows the news that the Porsche 911 will have to undergo some serious engine changes to keep up with more stringent European emissions regulations that could see engine capacities rise, and power outputs fall. These regulations spell trouble for other performance-minded models such as the Focus RS which was canned due to not making emissions standards.
The Ford Focus ST, which traditionally makes use of a front-wheel-drive layout and turbocharged four-pot power has been a darling of the track day scene ever since its launch in the US and is sorely missed by brand-loyal owners, but there might be a silver lining on the horizon.
Muezinger is hesitant to talk about the possibility of a successor to the Focus ST, but with the Ford Mustang Mach-E in sight, it wouldn't be completely remiss to think that Ford will introduce its EV technology into a smaller performance car.
Menzinger does acknowledge that it is important to listen to customers, especially the ones loyal to its performance models: "As you can imagine there are all sorts of studies ongoing. I can't give you any timeframe, but we're looking at what customers would like and it's under consideration, absolutely," he concluded.