America hasn’t made a good sport compact in a few years. The last one worth remembering was the Chevrolet Cobalt SS. Before that, the SVT Ford Focus was something we could have pride in, complete with a 170-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Its life was cut short in the U.S., but the little hot hatch kept evolving in Europe where sporty hatchbacks are more prevalent.
Now, it returns as the 2013 Ford Focus ST, the 252-horsepower hatchback of study hall fantasies. Using a turbocharged, “EcoBoost” 2.0-liter engine, a standard six-speed manual transmission–an automatic isn’t even available, and exclusive Tangerine Scream paint, the Focus ST has all the makings of a winner. But can it deliver on its promise? Read our 2013 Ford Focus ST Road Test to find out.