The Ford Focus ST is now available to order with a new seven-speed intelligent automatic transmission on EcoBoost petrol variants.

It’s been a successful first year for the Focus ST, which was crowned ‘Hot Hatch of the Year’ by Top Gear Magazine last year.

It gains a seven-speed automatic transmission, available on petrol variants of both five-door and estate bodystyles from July.

This derivative uses a rotary gear selector and features a steering wheel-mounted paddle shift, while a ‘Sport’ button on the flat-bottomed steering wheel gives direct access to Sport mode. Drivers can also quickly scroll through the Drive Mode options using the additional ‘Mode’ button.

The seven-speed automatic gear differentiation maximises flexibility and performance is optimised through Aaptive Shift Scheduling with alters gearshift timings depending on different driving styles.

The 2.3-litre EcoBoost all-aluminium engine is the most powerful ever offered for a Focus ST and uses advanced turbocharging technology to deliver 280PS power at 5,500rpm.

Prices for the Focus ST start at £30,575 for the five-door, EcoBlue diesel model and £31975 for the estate. EcoBoost petrol derivatives start at £33,260 for five-door and £34,600 for the estate.

The seven-speed automatic transmission carries a premium of £1,450 over manual variants, with the five-door starting from £34,710 and the estate starting from £36,110.

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