Shelby Focus ST, still seeking that extra dose of GLH

Alex Lloyd

No, your eyes do not deceive you. And no this is not a Ford Focus RS. It is, in fact, a Shelby American-tuned Focus ST - a sporty version of the already sporty hatchback. Surely that’s a winning formula?

This isn’t the first flurry for Shelby into the world of hatchback tuning. Those with a keen memory may recall a time when Carroll Shelby worked his magic on a 1986 Dodge Omni GLH hatchback. With the legacy of Carroll still reverberating around the Detroit Auto Show, the return to hot-hatch tinkering is refreshing.

With the standard Focus ST producing around 250 hp, Shelby American is in the process of finalizing a performance kit that will boost power between 30-50 ponies, but as of today, the engine (disappointingly) remains unchanged. Still, it’s a strong motor as stock. But a 300 horsepower Focus? Now that sounds interesting.

What Shelby American has done is add Ford Racing suspension to lower the car and improve handling, bolt on some new boots for additional grip, and carry out better brakes and a Shelby/Borla exhaust to make the Focus sound extra angry.

The exterior is beefed up with two functional hood vents, grille inserts, and a rear spoiler, making the pocket rocket appear more racy. The interior is festooned with Shelby lettering, and a new Shelby shifter is installed. All this fiddling will cost $14,995, on top of the purchase price of the car. As it stands, a Focus costing close to $40,000 with no engine updates doesn’t seem like the deal of the century. But when the updates are approved, then we might have something.

In other news, Shelby American also revealed their new 2013 Shelby GT500 Super Snake “Wide Body.” All you need to know is that it thumps out a preposterous 850 hp. Giddy up.