Shelby American Unveils Shelby Focus ST at NAIAS

Posted by: Matt Iasenzaniro onJanuary 15th, 2013

What’s better than a 250hp Focus ST? How about a 300hp Focus ST?

“So, a Focus RS?”

Well… No. I mean, kinda. It’s a Focus ST, but with 300 horsepower, Ford Racing suspension, bigger brakes and stickier tires. And it’s from the same guys who make the 1000 horsepower Mustang, Shelby, so that counts for something.

Today at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Shelby revealed its two newest vehicles, the GT500 Super Snake and the Shelby Focus ST. Adding to an already crowded list of over-powered Mustangs isn’t very interesting, but this is the first time since the 1980s that Shelby has gotten their hands on a small car like the Focus.

As mentioned, it starts out with a tuned version of the existing 2.0L direct injected and turbocharged engine and Shelby/Borla exhaust. Power still gets sent to the front wheels, but wider and stickier tires should help it get to the pavement. The car is helped around corners thanks to Ford Racing suspension and can come to a halt more consistently thanks to Shelby-spec brakes. Visual changes including hood vents, grill inserts and a carbon spoiler on the outside, with a splash of Shelby flair on the inside. Sadly, Shelby flair doesn’t include bolsters, as the seats look like they’re straight out of a Camry.

Whether or not the Shelby Focus ST lives up to the hype will depend on just how much of the hype you believed. While it’s disappointing that it’s not all-wheel drive and seems oddly similar to the existing – though missing in North America – Focus RS, it’s still arguably the hottest hatch out right now. However, it will set you back $15,000 on top of the cost of the Focus itself, which means a minimum cost of $45,000 CAD. If that’s not too rich for you then I suggest you phone your local Shelby dealer today because with a yearly production of 500 units, it’s gonna be tough to get one.

When he’s not busy writing about cars or travelling the auto show circuit, he’s reviewing apps and video games related to the automotive world. In his spare time, Matt is a motorcycle enthusiast, trying not to kill himself riding along with the crazy local drivers. He is also a weekly contributor in the Motor Mondays segment on News Talk 770.

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