Car reviews - Ford - Focus - XR5 Turbo 5-dr hatch
The Focus XR5 Turbo, Ford’s first hot hatch in decades, is nothing short of fabulous
28 Apr 2006
By CHRIS HARRIS
THINKING that settling for a Volkswagen Golf GTI is the answer to all your hot-hatchback needs? Well, don’t look now because the Ford Focus XR5 Turbo is blowing into town like a tornado, complete with a giant-killer reputation that it has earned the hard way – by tackling the German icon (as well as the flying Astra Turbo and Renault Megane 225) head-on – over the last few months in Europe.
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Ford Focus ST170Released: May 2003
Ended: June 2005
Family Tree: Focus
Completely underrated, the three-door-only ST170 (for 170bhp) sold in few numbers but left its mark on those who appreciated the German-built Ford’s exquisite steering, handling, roadholding and ride qualities. In Australia the first Focus suffered from a reputation for being under-powered. And, yes, the ST170 did need a heavy right foot to extract all 127kW and 196Nm from its worked 2.0-litre twin-cam four-cylinder engine. But combined with a slick six-speed manual gearbox and extremely sharp styling, a well-driven ST170 rewarded its pilot like few small hot hatches at the time could. We predict this will be a future classic.
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