Ford sells the Focus in a variety of different trims, but the ST is the most exciting. This car is the definition of a hot hatch.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Starting with the Focus hatchback body, Ford gives it a set of memorable paint options, such as this Tangerine Scream version. The black grille offsets it nicely.

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Ford powers the Focus ST with its EcoBoost four-cylinder engine. With 2 liters of displacement, the engine uses direct injection and a turbo to generate 252 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Although a performance-focused car, the Focus ST still meets practical considerations, such as being able to hold five passengers and cargo.

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The ride quality has a soft edge, but that does not mean the car wallows in the turns.

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Adding to the fun is a center dual-pipe exhaust.

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The rear wing on the Focus ST is designed for more than just looks.

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As a hatchback, the Focus ST offers practical cargo space, expandable by folding down the rear seats.

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These Recaro seats come as part of a package with the tech options, but are a little uncomfortable for daily use.

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The rear seat has the same twin-tone pattern as the front seats, but this bench can accommodate three.

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The MyFord Touch option puts an LCD in the center dashboard. Navigation is an option above that.

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Ford uses an electric power-steering system, but it is tuned well, giving some heft and feedback.

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The center display comes in handy for trip information.

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Three top gauges show oil pressure and temperature, and turbo pressure.

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The only transmission option is a six-speed manual, which shifts with a velvety feel.

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The navigation system, a separate option from MyFord Touch, runs a little slow and uses overcomplicated menus for destination entry.

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The stereo supports a wide variety of audio sources, from onboard media to broadcast.

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The Sony audio system is a worthwhile upgrade, as it brings 10 speakers into the car and delivers very distinct sound.

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At an earlier event, the Focus ST proved fast and fun on the autocross course.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
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