When Shelby announced that they were bringing two models to the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, a lot of us already penciled in that one of those models would be a custom-tuned Ford Mustang. The other one, however, was still subject to speculation with the front runner being some sort of derivative for Ford’s mighty sports hatch, the Focus ST.
True enough, those who thought it was the Focus ST were proven right when Shelby unveiled the Shelby Focus ST, a "budget-minded" performance vehicle for those who can’t afford the bigger and meaner Shelby Mustang.
Limited to only 500 units, the Shelby Focus ST is, as its name suggests, a souped-up Ford Focus ST that comes with a plethora of aesthetic and performance upgrades that’ll turn your already awesome sports hatch into one that has the stamp of approval from Shelby themselves.
Is the Shelby Focus ST all that it’s hyped up to be? Find out if it is - or isn’t - after the jump.
Exterior and Interior
Designed by Shelby to incorporate its iconic styling cues that set it apart from the rest of the Ford Focus STs out there, the Shelby Focus ST carries, among other things, a new hood with exclusive hood louvers and covered in a Flat Black vinyl wrap.
Shelby also made plenty use of hydrocarbon accents on numerous parts of the car, including the lower bumper, the rear hatch spoiler, and wider wheels and tires.
Just for verification that the car was custom-built by Shelby, the sports hatch has been adorned with Shelby badges, including a CSM numbered dash plaque, an engine plate, center cap emblems on the wheels, side graphics, and rear lettering.
The interior received its share of Shelby upgrades, including custom seating with Shelby embroidery that plays to the body color of the sports hatch and a short throw shifter.
Aesthetically speaking, there aren’t tons of changes to the Shelby Focus ST, apart from the bombardment of badges and graphics, which really makes you stop and pause. Then again, the whole point of this special-edition model is its overall package.
Referred to as a "pocket rocket,” the Shelby Focus ST certainly lives up to its billing, thanks to a comprehensive performance upgrade in the engine, the suspension, the brakes, and the exhaust system. Though they didn’t mention the specifics of the program, they did so say that the corresponding output increase hits north of 300 horsepower, significantly higher than the standard 252-horsepower output of the standard Focus ST.
Excluding the actual car, which retails with a base price of $23,700, the Shelby Focus ST program starts at $14,995 with a prospect of a higher sticker depending on the optional upgrades you’d want to get.
- Shelby spec front brake upgrade
- Shelby spec rear rotor upgrade
- Shelby wheels & tires
- Shelby short throw shifter
- Shelby/Ford Racing suspension package
- Shelby/Borla Cat Back exhaust
- Shelby engine appearance package
- Shelby premium interior package
- Shelby CSM numbered dash plaque
- Shelby CSM engine plate
- Center cap emblems
- Shelby rear lettering
Shelby exterior package
- Hood with heat extractors
- Hydrocarbon accents
- Shelby exterior graphics
- Additional exterior graphics
- Checkered Flag Splash
- Traditional Stripes
- Competition Graphics
Here’s the thing: anytime you mention Shelby, you immediately have that shivering respect of a car that’s going to blow you away. The Shelby Focus ST, though, doesn’t capture that. Sure, there’s a colorful palette for the exterior body of the car and there is a performance upgrade, but there seems to be something lacking from this Focus ST.
Maybe it needs more aero components or maybe a plusher interior. Whatever the case, it beats showering the car with badges and graphics.
Shelby = respect
Nice power upgrade
Exterior look doesn’t stand out
Nothing exceptionally special about it