The third-generation Ford Focus has been around for more than half a decade now, and is most certainly due for a replacement. As is the case with the current model, a range of petrol and diesel ST models will lead the next-generation Focus line-up, the former said to offer up to 279 hp (275 bhp), according to Autocar.

In its report, the petrol-powered ST could adopt Ford’s 1.5 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine used in the 2017 Escape and the current Focus, replacing the current Focus ST’s 2.0 litre EcoBoost unit (246 hp/345 Nm).

However, the downsized unit produces just 179 hp and 240 Nm of torque in the SUV and 177 hp and 240 Nm in the Focus, requiring a series of enhancements to achieve its projected output. The uprated mill will also be required to meet the stringent 2021 average fleet CO2 standard of 95 g/km in Europe.

Twin-scroll turbocharging, direct injection and cylinder deactivation are believed to be among the technologies Ford is considering for the powerplant. If the latest Fiesta ST is any indication, harnessing that much power shouldn’t be much of an issue for the Blue Oval. A 1.5 litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine with 197 hp and 290 Nm powers the Focus ST’s smaller sibling.

As for the oil-burning version of the ST, it remains to be seen if it will continue on with the 2.0 litre Duratorq engine (182 hp/400 Nm), or make the switch to a downsized 1.5 litre unit instead.

The all-new Focus ST is expected to debut in spring 2018, about six months after the mainstream models are revealed. The C-segment model will likely follow the Fiesta’s line-up nomenclature as well – Trend, Active, ST-Line, Titanium and Vignale.

GALLERY: Ford Focus ST (third generation) prototype