Ford may be shifting away from passenger cars and into SUVs and pick-up trucks, but its Focus hatchback is still an important model for the Blue Oval in Europe, so much so that it remains committed to building a hot hatch for the region. And if these images – which Carscoops pulled from a private forum – are any indication, the upcoming ST will be quite a tasty looker indeed.

This undisguised unit, painted in the signature searing orange hue, sports a few choice visual upgrades over the standard Focus, including a honeycomb mesh for the trapezoidal grille, larger air intakes with contrasting matte black surrounds, a sizeable gloss black rear spoiler and a rear diffuser with a body colour insert. The ST’s usual centre exhaust exits have been swapped out for circular pipes at each corner.

Other items of note include the side skirts, Y-spoke alloy wheels and black door handles, as well as heavily-bolstered, ST-branded Recaro seats on the inside to go with the flat-bottomed steering wheel. In what will be good news to enthusiasts everywhere, the manual shifter remains, likely linked to a six-speed gearbox.

That gearbox is expected to be paired to the Mustang‘s 2.3 litre EcoBoost turbo four-cylinder engine, which makes 286 hp and 440 Nm in the pony car. Given that rivals like the Hyundai i30 N, Peugeot 308 GTi and Renault Megane RS are all pushing close to the 300 hp mark, that’s good news. However, other rumours suggest that the car will instead get the Fiesta ST‘s 1.5 litre three-pot, boosted to around 280 hp.


GALLERY: 2019 Ford Focus ST spyshots