Ford Focus ST leads UK sales charts

The Ford Focus ST has topped the sales charts in Britain and a series of other countries.

The vehicle, which is Ford's first truly global performance car, has become the most popular hot hatch in Norway, Denmark, Hungary, Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland and Switzerland, as well as Britain - with sales of 1,984 during the final quarter of 2012.

Automotive data intelligence provider Polk revealed the figures, highlighting that during this period Focus ST sales covered 44% of the market.

This was enough to see off competition from the VW Golf GTI (33%) and Renault Megane Sport (12%).

Ford launched the third generation Focus ST, which has a 2.0-litre EcoBoost 250PS engine, in Europe and North America last year, while it is set for a long-awaited introduction in the Asia Pacific regions later this year.

Since its launch in Europe Ford has managed to shift a total of 3,819 Focus STs, making it one of the hottest cars available right now.

Most of those (74%) were hatchback versions, with the remaining 26% being wagons.

For those worried about being fashionable or setting trends themselves, Frozen White is the most popular colour (41%), followed by Panther Black (28%) and Tangerine Scream (17%).

Auto Express gave the model its considerable seal of approval by labelling it the "Best Hot Hatch" currently available in the UK.

Meanwhile, the wagon version was equally lauded by Top Gear magazine, which revealed it as the "Hot Hatch of the Year".

Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales & Service, Ford of Europe, described how the Focus ST's "unrivalled" balancing act between being practical and great to drive is the secret behind its success.

He recommended that people really need to just get behind the wheel of it themselves before they can fully appreciate what sets it apart as a great car.

"I am one of a fast-growing group of excited ST drivers," he added.

With Ford no doubt keen to capitalise on this success, the firm is extending its Ford ST range.

This begins with the new 180PS Fiesta ST being launched this month. It will be the fastest ever Fiesta, achieving 0-62mph in 6.9 seconds with a 137 mph top speed.

It is hoped that the Fiesta will be able to harness the enjoyable driving experience that has proven so popular with the Focus via its 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine.

The newest Fiesta also has an updated chassis, brakes and steering along with improved Torque Vectoring Control and 3-mode Electronic Stability Control. 

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