Famed for class-leading dynamics and a firey segment-leading lap of the Nürburgring's Nordschliefe track, Ford's ST model Focus has long been at the top of its game. And with updates for 2008 by Ford's dedicated performance vehicle arm TeamRS, that's where the refreshed flagship Focus ST aims to stay. Hitting dealerships in the UK from May 1st and following the updates received by lesser models earlier this year, the new ST model ushers in enhancements to exterior and interior styling as well as updates to the options list.

Powered by the same 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder unit as on its predecessor, the 225 PS delivers a top speed of up to 150 mph and acceleration to 62 mph in 6.8 seconds. But it is dynamically where the ST has excelled and continues to do so. The new model achieves a lap time of 8 minutes 35 seconds around Germany's famed Nürburgring Nordschliefe track, fending off its more powerful Civic Type-R and Golf R32 rivals to claim fastest in segment.

Pricing starts at £18,250 for the new ST in three-door standard trim and £18,850 for the five-door, inclusive of 18-inch alloys, Recaro sports seats, sports steering wheel and unique instrumentation. Upgrading to the higher specification ST-2 version buys a Sony audio system, bi-xenon headlights and rear LEDs while the ST-3 adds six-CD changer and full leather trim. The double stripe is a £200 must-have option.

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