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Car reviews - Ford - Focus - XR5 Turbo 5-dr hatch


The Focus XR5 Turbo, Ford’s first hot hatch in decades, is nothing short of fabulous

28 Apr 2006

THINKING that settling for a Volkswagen Golf GTI is the answer to all your hot-hatchback needs? Well, don’t look now because the Ford Focus XR5 Turbo is blowing into town like a tornado, complete with a giant-killer reputation that it has earned the hard way – by tackling the German icon (as well as the flying Astra Turbo and Renault Megane 225) head-on – over the last few months in Europe.
Model release date: 1 April 2006 to 1 May 2008

Previous model

Ford Focus ST170

Released: May 2003
Ended: June 2005
Family Tree: Focus

Completely underrated, the three-door-only ST170 (for 170bhp) sold in few numbers but left its mark on those who appreciated the German-built Ford’s exquisite steering, handling, roadholding and ride qualities. In Australia the first Focus suffered from a reputation for being under-powered. And, yes, the ST170 did need a heavy right foot to extract all 127kW and 196Nm from its worked 2.0-litre twin-cam four-cylinder engine. But combined with a slick six-speed manual gearbox and extremely sharp styling, a well-driven ST170 rewarded its pilot like few small hot hatches at the time could. We predict this will be a future classic.

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