Ford Focus ST Debuting at Goodwood Festival of Speed

Gamers will get to challenge the pros during the grueling hill climb.

by on Jun.24, 2014

Fantasy will merge with reality later this week when Ford unveils its next-generation Focus ST model.

Ford will show more of its new 2015 Focus ST during this weekend's Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The performance version of the compact line will show its stuff during a run up the doglegged hill climb at Britain’s annual Goodwood Festival of Speed on Friday. But the new Ford Focus ST also will make a virtual entrance as part of the popular Gran Turismo 6 videogame.

Beyond the Headlines!

And in a unique twist, a “virtual versus real” race will allow gamers to go head-to-head with the real drivers as they take the Goodwood challenge.

Ford has tapped into a promising market with the Focus ST, first launched in 2002, against such competing hot hatches as the Volkswagen GTI and Subaru WRX. The new version of the five-door follows the debut of the more mainstream Focus line earlier this year.

The teaser shots and a video released by Ford suggest that the performance hatchback will get a new grille and headlamps, though the overall exterior design will stay relatively familiar.

A teaser image of the 2015 Ford Focus ST driving in the Gran Turismo 6 videogame.

A more substantial update will be found in the interior, however, as signaled by the base versions of the Focus line.  Expect to see an upgraded interior, in keeping with industry trends. That includes not only an upgrade to materials and finishes but updated technologies, such as the latest version of the Ford Sync infotainment system.

For the U.S. market, Ford is expected to carry over the current 2.0-liter EcoBoost inline-four churning out a peak 250 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque, however a new 2.0-liter turbodiesel will be added for Europe and some of the 40 other markets where the Ford Focus ST is currently offered.

(F1 legend Michael Schumacher leaves hospital, but long recovery likely. Click Here for details.)

Ford is one of a growing number of manufacturers to partner with Sony Computer Entertainment to put one of its designs into the fantasy racing world through the Gran Turismo game for the PlayStation console. The strategy helps manufacturers reach out to a new, more tech savvy group of current and future buyers who have been showing less interest in cars than past generations.

But it also allows makers to stretch their design muscles with a high-tech alternative to the traditional auto show circuit. Nissan, for example, unveiled its Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo prototype last week, the Japanese maker suggesting it “hints” at a future sports car design widely expected to reappear with the next-generation Nissan GT-R supercar.

(Click Here for a closer look at the Nissan Concept 2020.)

The Gran Turismo version of the Focus ST will be closer to the current reality, and will give gamers a chance to test their skills against a pro. During the first run up the Goodwood Hill each day, explains Ford, A designated gamer at the Ford stand will match skills against Ben Collins – formerly The Stig of Top Gear – with the action displayed on big screens throughout the festival.”

Visitors to the Ford stand will continue to have a chance to compare their times to the pro’s over the weekend on Gran Turismo 6 simulators.

(Click Here to check out the VW Extreme GTI Gran Turismo Concept.)

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