I didn't have time to read everything in this thread (yet), but I thought I'd share a couple things for anyone seriously interested in potentially buying an ST. If you're not, skim it.
First, yes, I'm buying an ST. I considered the GTI (and MS3, and Veloster Turbo, and WRX, and...) but because the ST offers a great performance package at a very very competitive price, and that I'm a Ford enthusiast, it was the obvious choice.
About the "$34k" number... if you're paying that for an ST, you're doing it wrong and getting screwed on the deal (IMHO). Yes, a loaded ST3 (all leather power/heated Recaros, HIDs, nav/Sony/MFT, etc.) with the Tangerine Scream paint, moon roof, and even the engine block heater will top out at just over $30k MSRP. Add tax/title/tag, and you should still be under $32k IF YOU PAY MSRP.
But here's the thing... there's no good reason to pay MSRP or above. The Focus ST is eligible for Ford's AXZD discount pricing plans (for employees, friends/family, associates, etc.), and anyone can become eligible for one of the discount pricing plans. ANYONE. For example, I'm using X plan for my ST purchase, which I'm getting because I know a Ford employee who is "gifting" it to me. But you can actually get X plan qualified a bunch of ways, including by joining any number of awesome clubs (automotive or not), such as the Mustang Club of America or SVT Owners Association. There's even riding, hunting, flying, and diving clubs that offer Ford X plan as a membership benefit. Join the club, become eligible for X plan, that simple (mostly).
Now, once your eligible for a discount plan, all you've got to do is find a dealership that will honor it. No, they're not required to, but Ford does "strongly encourage" it. But the good news is that many of us have found dealerships that will honor X plan on our purchases of the Focus ST. Simply playing a couple dealerships against one another makes it easy.
So, what does X plan get you? Well, MSRP on my ST3 was going to be $28,930 (no moon roof or fancy paint), plus the dealership's $700 "doc fee". On X plan, the ST price, including doc fees comes down to right around $27,550 ($1400 off MSRP), and the dealership CANNOT add any additional fees according to Ford's X plan policies. That means I'm paying around $29,600 out the door with Florida sales tax ($1600) and a new tag ($450).
Now I don't know what kind of discounts/rebates/deals you can get on a GTI Autobahn, but I know invoice on a 4 door Autobahn 6 speed is over $29,350-ish... $2k over X plan for comparably equipped (higher performance) Focus ST. Ford's clearly done their homework here and priced the ST very aggressively against the GTI.
BTW, for whatever it's worth, a couple videos posted in the last few days show stock ST's putting down 234whp/253wtq, and Steeda Autosports posted a 14.4 @ 97mph (on a hot damp Florida night).
Last edited by worked_xr; 09-07-2012 at 11:34 AM.
This whole thread is borked because people are comparing the OPs GET RAPED price plus tax, title, license, and extra rape fees to the MSRP on the competition. The ST is not comparable on price to the R, Evo, or anything else in that range.
I'm just gonna re-re-post this to help filter out the OMG$34KWTF! crowd.
I am extremely interested in getting an ST, but will wait until the second year of production simply because I'm paranoid of teething issues with any new model.
By the time I'm really ready to make a move it will com down to two vehicles---Focus ST or Mk7 GTI.
If my post helps anyone, I'm glad.
My connection to the ST is a bit more involved than just being an enthusiast and buyer now. I'm also currently involved in the development of the North American ST Owners Club (NASTOC) with several others from around the country, as a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing and fostering fellow ST owners' and fans' enjoyment of the cars. You can check out our website at http://www.nastoc.org/Home.html, though our facebook page is currently much more active (https://www.facebook.com/NASTOClub). We post stuff like updates on production stuff, ST related news, club news and info, etc. if anyone is interested.
I own a Golf R and I'm going to go test drive a Focus ST once they become available ... I'd like to see how much better or equivalent it is to a GTI/R ...
PS: Overboost sounds interesting on the ST
For those fixated on my Mustang comments: I LIKE the Focus ST, at an appropriate price point. When the OP came in talking about paying $34k is when I made my comment that it was DIW to pay $34k for a Focus instead of the (IMHO) better fast Ford.
The 2013 also has a stack on the hood, and AFAIK, there are no material differences between 2012 and 2013 Mustangs.
So if you're butthurt, grab some Tucks.
If you're not, and just didn't understand
And as someone pointed out, the ST actually excels in some aspects that may trump outright performance for some folks, like me. The fact of the matter is that with two younger kiddos, the Mustang's 2 doors and non-functional back seat are deal breakers, no matter how good a deal it is or how fast it is. I wish it weren't true, but it is. I'm a big Mustang fan of old, including still owning the '70 Mach 1 I bought when I was 15 in 1988... 25 years I've owned that car.
And about actually comparing the performance between the Mustang (V6 or GT) and the ST, there's something more to consider than just raw numbers. Many of the factory/race drivers at some of the recent Ford press and promotional events have commented on how *FUN* the ST is, some even saying they preferred it to new Shelby that was also hooned around at the SVTOA Homecoming. These are Ford's own drivers, driving Ford's own products, and making statements about the grin-factor of the ST compared to the brutally fast Shelby. That grin-factor doesn't come with a number attached to compare, but it can be worth A LOT when comparing cars. Perfect example is all the love and adoration being hefted upon the Toyobaru FRSBRZ... they're properly slow (comparatively) yet continue to ring every reviewer's bell and make top 10 lists.
That said, the ST will likely be a GS car, where it will compete, or a DS car will it will be buried.
(I'm an SCCA guy in case you haven't picked that up yet)
Either way, for the same, or less money, I'd have the Mustang and play in FS.
But I recognize that I'm not everyone.
Though I think we all agree with my original comment that $34k for a Focus is DIW.
Talking about engine, it's quite nice and powered, but I don't like the Mk3's looks.
It's hard to think back to the days of the original Focus now. A car that took an age-old and worn-out model (Escort) and renewed in almost every way with what has to have been the best hatchback of the last 14 years. Design wise, both looks and mechanically it was a car that never really needed to be changed. But they did, and they've over styled it ever since. Its become more and more German, and its faded away into the abyss that is the the hatchback market. It no longer stands out. It no longer has any individuality. Its big bulky and ugly. Everything that the Ford Focus is not. European Mk 2 was very bland, but it's facelift (2008-2011) was quite nice.
As for the ST, I suspect it will be lumped in with the MS3 in D Stock simply because of the hp edge over the current GTI. I actually warned others about this back when the ST was first announced, and I absolutely agree that it won't be terribly competitive. The only way it might have an edge is in a Road Tire class, but we'll just have to wait and see.
Also the upcoming Fiesta ST has my interest as well. 180hp, 177tq I read, that thing will be a little terrorist in the fwd class.
Also anyone know the price tag on the ST race car? I asked the dealer but they don't know, they have to look into it.
Oh, I agree with you about the ST being best all-round hot hatch available in the US right now, but I don't think it'll be as highly competitive in SCCA's D Stock class where it will compete with not just the MS3 and Mustang V6, but also the ITR, Cooper S, WRX, BMW 1 and 3 series, Audi A3, S4, and TT quattro. It's a class full of stiff competition and all of those cars have more and better development right now.
BTW, the Focus ST-R race car is something on the order of $99k I believe. It's a lot, but it's a real turnkey race car, from the cage to data logging. My hope is that next year Ford offers a "performance pack" Focus ST for the really hardcore weekend racers. Strip down the ST to bare essentials (i.e. no fancy stereo or MFT, moon roof, nav, etc.), include the manual adjust Recaros and stuff like performance springs, adjustable dampers, Brembo brakes, exhaust cutout, mechanical LSD, etc. Price it around the price of an ST3 (i.e. $29k). Yeah, I'd buy one like that if it were available.
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So again, at $24k, the ST is a great buy. For $34k, not so much, At $29k, as a second car, it's not necessarily a better performance deal than a Mustang, though apparently to this little 'tard, only douchebags would like/drive those.
I even LIKE the ST, but the moment he was an insulting assclown, he lost all my support for buying one.
I love cars, but the problem is they are like schroedinger's hobby. They're always in a quantum superstate of being both awesome and a huge waste of time and money... until observation momentarily forces them into one state or another.
Thanks for the info. I ordered an ST (ST3 option) and expect it in late October. There are dealers being difficult but got mine for $27,700. This is the top option package with leather Recaro's and Nav. 34K is crazy talk.
My daughter bought a Mazda 3 this weekend. The dealer had a Ford dealership next to their Mazda and one Focus ST on the ground. I got to test drive the ST and the Speed3 back to back. I prefer the ST but that speed3 is still a beast.
i want to like this car, but ford is just bothering me lately. their cars are over priced and i only say that because they lose value SO QUICKLY. also the rear ends on the STs are hideous. if the fiesta ST comes stateside i'd consider that, but no way will i go near the focus ST. no. way.
girls dig when i play with the V