Ford to launch Focus ST in China image

Ford Motor Co plans to unveil the performance-oriented Focus ST in China at the Auto China 2012 in Beijing this month.

The 250-horsepower Focus ST edition is part of the new Focus range that goes into production in May at Ford’s joint-venture plant in Chongqing. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph should take approximately 6.0 seconds, which is more than enough to keep up with rivals like the Volkswagen GTI, Mazdaspeed 3 and Subaru WRX.

In addition to the high performance 250-horsepower engine, the ST model that will debut in China features a close ratio 6-speed manual transmission, sport tuned suspension, performance braking components, an interior with a race inspired layout and an exterior that allows it to stand out from other Focus 5-door models.

“The ST will be the performance flagship of our new Focus range, and we are excited to provide our enthusiast customers the opportunity to see it Beijing,” said Nigel Harris, vice president, Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford Motor China.

China is the biggest global market, but the new car market has slowed after a decade of double-digit annual growth.

March passenger car sales of 1.4 million were only 4.5% higher than a year ago, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

-Focus ST images from 2012 Geneva Motor Show