After nearly two years of waiting, Ford has finally teed up a configurator site for the eagerly anticipated Focus ST hot hatch. There’s still no word on when you’ll be able to take delivery (aside from “late 2012”), but at least you can calculate how much it will cost to buy one built to your exact specs. You can even place a reservation (or “nonbinding order,” in Ford’s words) to ensure that you’re the first on your block to take delivery.
A base price of $24,495 (including a $795 destination fee) gets you a surprising amount of standard content, including keyless entry and pushbutton start; Ford’s SYNC infotainment system; trip computer; unique ST sport suspension; 18-inch wheels with Y-rated tires and a 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine rated at 252 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque (or 247 hp and 250 lb-ft, depending upon which Ford source is correct).
You’ll want to bin the stock seats and upgrade to the optional Recaros, which come as part of a package. If you want partial-leather seats, select Equipment Group ST2, which prices at $2,385 but also gives you an upgraded audio system. If you want full-leather Recaro seats, you’ll need Equipment Group ST3, which includes the other bits from ST2 and adds HID lighting and ambient lighting, for a price of $4,435.
Even going heavy on the options produces a sticker price below $30,000, which means that the Mazdaspeed3 may have a competitor for the “best bang for the buck” award. We’ll reserve judgement until we get a chance to drive one, whenever that might be.