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Focus ST Sessions

Ford's hot hatch scraps with WRX, Si, GTI and even M3.

Peter Tarach
Sep 12, 2012
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The setup for "Focus ST Sessions" - the video series starring the performance-minded hatchback - is this: Ford's new turbo, two-liter, 247-horsepower FWD groomed by the OEM's Performance Vehicles division can kick your car's ass. To that end, producers tapped several Ford pilots to flex the ST's muscle against a handful of respectable market competitors in a variety of settings.

As the series' tagline plainly states, "It's time to play."

Thus far playtime for the 2013 Focus ST has been documented in three short vids, apparently with more on the way. In the first, "Welcome to Focus ST Sessions," producers tease the series with clips from Willow Springs International Motorsports Park, the tarmac at San Bernardino International Airport (where we were invited to witness some of the car flogging), and a nondescript mountain road. The opposition includes a current generation Subaru WRX, Volkswagen GTI Mk6, and surprisingly even a BMW E92 M3.

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Episode two asks "What makes an ST an ST?" and presents rally driver Chrissie Beavis in an ST seemingly taking out a Mazdaspeed3 and the non-STI WRX; the E92 also ostensibly throws down, and in fact "wins" its standoff, but producers make a point of how much more expensive the Bimmer is. Finally, chapter three - "Hide and Seek" - sees the ST race around what looks like a warehouse, doing faux battle with a Honda FG4 Civic Si and the MS3 from the previous video.

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The series promises a lot: performance car battles with the likes of famous Ford hot-shoes Ken Block, Vaughn Gittin, Jr., Tanner Foust, Justin Pawlak and others behind the wheel. Regrettably all of the confrontation is made for TV, and while it seems like the drivers land plenty of verbal jabs, video makers offer just a feature-by-feature comparison between platforms; no actual data is presented to illustrate advantage.

Still, the series is a compelling show of hoonery, and worth a look for fans that gravitate to programming like "Octane Academy" and Block's ubiquitous gymkhana edits. For more information, head over to

Focus ST Sessions:

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By Peter Tarach
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