Ford 'Overclocks' New Focus ST: More Top-End Power, Better Fuel Efficiency

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[Credit: Ford]
Anyone who's ever driven a sports car knows the thrill of taking it out on the highway and pressing down on the gas. After years of driving an economy car and chugging up hills, the way a sports car leaps to respond to such challenges is hard to forget.

Unfortunately, the problem with owning a traditional sports car in 2012 is that they're huge, and their gas mileage isn't up to modern standards. So two years ago, Ford launched the Focus ST in Europe and last year brought it to the US as a small, modern sports car. But one of the costs of "modern" is that the car doesn't accelerate quite as well under all conditions as its larger, hungrier brethren.

Ford has announced that the new 2013 Focus ST, available "late summer," will feature an "overclocked" engine to provide more acceleration and torque at the high end. Taking their cues from hardcore PC gamers who install elaborate cooling rigs in their computers to service chips running significantly over their rated clock speed, Ford has installed a sturdy cooling system and programmed the car's computer to let the engine go past 3000 RPM to 4500 RPM and dial up the turbocharger behind it to provide increased torque and acceleration for up to 15 seconds.

[Credit: Ford]

The Focus ST retains its predecessors' focus on economy in other areas. Its EcoBoost 2.0 liter engine incorporates technologies pioneered in European diesel engines, like direct fuel injection and turbocharging, which Ford says should result in increased performance and better fuel efficiency and lower greenhouse gas emissions. (Car and Driver lists it at 21 miles per gallon (MPG) city and 31MPG highway, putting it unsurprisingly somewhere between the official figures for the Ford Focus and the Ford Mustang.)

Although EcoBoost engines are sold in other of Ford's US vehicles—-including the Explorer and even the F-150 pickup—-the ST has the first overboosted Ecoboost engine sold in North America.

Ford will have the car on display at the E3 gaming convention in Los Angeles in June, and the car will arrive in dealerships in late summer. Although, unlike an overclocked computer, the ST's engine will run at normal speeds most of the time, this should get you up hills and whip you around corners with all the power you want, whether you're on the road or on the racetrack.

Also, head on over to TechHive for a car enthusiast's take on the new Focus ST.

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