The ST wants its crown back.

A tasty but forbidden (or should we say Ford-bidden) fruit for the American customers is scheduled to join the hot hatch segment next year. The Blue Oval’s new Focus ST is set to arrive during the first half of 2019 but, unfortunately, is a no-go on the U.S. market.

We’ve seen a number of prototypes out testing, both on track and public roads, and we have a pretty good idea of the vehicle’s design. We tasked our talented artists to take off all the camouflage of the trial cars and productionize the Focus ST. The result is this sporty-looking hatchback.

By now everyone knows Ford likes to keep the Focus ST close to the regular versions of the car in terms of design and the new generation won’t make a difference. Of course, not everything will be left untouched as the front bumper will incorporate new grilles and reshaped fog lamps surrounds. Beefier wheels and wider side skirts will give the hatch a more appealing appearance but should also have a positive impact on its road stability.

While the design is pretty much not a secret, some mystery still remains as to what will power the new Focus ST. The latest gossip is that the next-gen hot hatch will borrow the 2.3-liter turbocharged engine of the outgoing Focus RS. Peak output in the region of 270 horsepower (201 kilowatts) is expected, as well as a diesel version for the European market with a 2.0-liter EcoBlue motor and 190 hp (141 kW).

Ford Focus ST spy photo
Ford Focus ST spy photo
Ford Focus ST spy photo

The new Focus ST is also rumored to become the first generation of the performance hatchback to receive an automatic gearbox. The standard option will continue to be a six-speed manual transmission, but an eight-speed torque converter should also be available.

Gallery: Ford Focus ST Spy Photos

Photo by: CarPix