In a time when most automakers focus on producing vanilla sedans, crossovers, and trucks for the mainstream, a car like the Ford Focus ST-R is more than refreshing — it’s exhilarating. The 2.0 liter EcoBoost motor that makes 250 horsepower and 265 lb.-ft. of torque, stripped interior, Recaro seat, FIA-spec roll cage, powerful brakes, and track-tuned suspension make the ST-R a turn-key race car built for the road course and events such as the Grand-AM ST and SCCA World Challenge TC Series; in other words, it’s no drag strip Mustang with more power than you can handle.
Luckily, we happened upon this video of Tanner Foust, 2011 Global RallyCross Champion and all-around cool guy, putting the ST-R through its places on the Homestead-Miami Speedway. Tanner’s impressions of the ST-R start at a philosophical level when he says that Ford is stuck on using production parts in the race version, which speaks for the brand and its commitment to linking racing and street technology. It’s no secret that race teams spend the greater part of their first year configuring and tweaking their car, thus making it somewhat of a throwaway season. That’s not the case with the ST-R, which allows teams to hit the ground running. In other words, Ford Racing is fully behind the ST-R, which uses production parts found in the more plebeian Focus… and that’s saying something.
Additionally, Tanner touches on an interesting topic during the video when he explains that most people around the world think of small, boosted cars as performance vehicles — not the hefty muscle cars that Americans equate with auto sports. Having raced the Fiesta in Rally Cross and X-games events, Tanner knows first hand about racing compacts and their performance abilities.
The Motrolix Take
These are truly exciting times to be an auto enthusiast and a Ford fan. The Blue Oval isn’t shy of taking risks — and the Focus ST and ST-R is proof in and of itself. Take that, GM — which can’t even figure out a way to bring a hatchback variant of its Chevy Cruze to the United States to compete with the Focus. Now, who’s got $100,000 burning a whole in their pocket?
PS: is that a BOSS 302 Laguna Seca following the ST-R around the speedway? Seems to be.