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The latest Ford Focus ST is forbidden fruit in the United States because the entire Focus lineup is no longer available in the country. Videos like this one CarExpert offer an idea of how the new model performs, even if we can't actually get behind the wheel of the hot hatch. There's even a chance to see how the automatic and manual gearbox compare.

As a refresher, the latest Focus ST packs Ford's 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 276 horsepower (206 kilowatts) and 310 pound-feet (420 Newton-meters) of torque. Customers can choose between a seven-speed automatic or six-speed manual.

CarExpert demonstrates that the model sounds a whole lot better with the manual. The exhaust pops when lifting off the throttle and performing gear changes, but the automatic doesn't make any of these exciting noises.

Gallery: 2019 Ford Focus ST: First Drive

The host takes both models through their paces by doing runs down the drag strip in every conceivable driving mode. At its slowest, the automatic Focus ST clocks a 6.5-second time to reach 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour), and in Race Mode with stability control off, it hits that speed in 5.8 seconds.

The manual can't keep up because the hot hatch hits 62 mph in 6.7 seconds during normal driving. With Race Mode, stability control off, and no-lift shifting, the time drops to 6.4 seconds, which is only barely quicker than the automatic in Comfort mode.

With the automatic clearly the quicker member of the pair, the video then lines up the Focus ST against a VW Golf GTI. The Volkswagen is the Performance model and has a dual-clutch gearbox. However, even this hot hatch stalwart doesn't come close to beating the Ford in a drag race.

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