Can a sporty car also be a green car? And can you add performance boosts to a green engine without making it a gas-guzzler?
For thinks the answer is yes.
Enter the 2013 Ford Focus ST, the latest in a long-line of motorsport-inspired performance Ford Focus STs, but the first Focus ST to be sold in the U.S
Unlike the previous-generation 2.5-liter Focus ST popular in Europe, the 2013 Focus ST is powered bya 2.0-liter, direct-injection, four-cylinder, turbocharged, intercooled Ecoboost engine.
It’s the same 2.0-liter engine found in the 2013 Ford Edge Ecoboost, capable of 21 mpg city, 30 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined, but with one difference: it has built-in overboosting.
Ford explains overboosting as being the the equivalent of pressing the turbo-boost button on a video game, giving a temporary increase in performance.
In reality, Ford’s engineers have tweaked the 2.0-liter EcoBoost’s turbocharger to give better response times, added “a very robust cooling system” and a computer control system that can extend the power band of the turbocharger for up to 15 seconds at a time.
2013 Ford Focus ST
2013 Ford Focus ST
When engaged, the computer-controlled overbooster increases the speed at which peak torque is possible, up from the usual 3,000 rpm barrier to 4,500 rpm.
It’s that boost which means the 2013 Ford Focus ST, while getting better fuel economy than previous generations, still manages to develop 252 horsepower and 270 foot-pounds of torque.
To ensure a long engine life, better safety, and improved fuel economy however, the feature is computer-controlled, limiting boost function to a maximum of 15 seconds at any one time.
With a top speed of around 155 mph, and a 0-60 time of 6.1 seconds, the 2013 Ford Focus ST is Ford’s fastest Focus model to go on sale in the U.S.
Admittedly, the 2013 Ford Focus ST isn’t what most would term a green car, but we think its new green technology is worthy of a mention.
That’s because Ford has taken an engine that it has designed from the ground-up to be as fuel efficient as possible, and then worked hard to produce extra performance from it.
In doing so, it has made a dramatic move away from the traditional way of making sporty versions of everyday cars, where they shoehorn a V-6 or entirely different and larger four-cylinder engine into an otherwise green-minded car.
There’s something else. In willingly designing an overboost system for its ecoboost engine range, Ford has proven that its ecoboost engine and components are robust. That gives headroom for those wanting to carry out high-end performance tuning on Ford’s greenest engine line yet.