Why Your Automotive Subculture Sucks: Focus ST Owners

After CarsofFortLangley superbly owned Corvette owners like his dad, CB laid down an invitation I couldn’t refuse. Also, this is about Focus STs because I don’t know shit about Fiesta STs and can’t tell them apart except that I know there isn’t a fast version of the Fiesta. Also, I am dumb.

Your subculture: Ford Focus ST drivers

Your background: Now that you’re 27 and have a real professional career-type job, it’s time to reward yourself with your first new car purchase. You’ve worked somewhat hard for about a third of your life to sort of maximize the opportunities your comfortably middle class parents provided by getting decent grades at your pretty good suburban high school so you can get into a decent college, and then to get passing grades at your decent college so you can get a decent salaried job with a cubicle and a computer and health insurance.


As long as you get your work done—and Excel does half the work anyway, really—your boss doesn’t look over your shoulder all day, so you spend half of it on car forums arguing over whether the “M-sport” trims irreparably dilute BMW’s “M” heritage; whether a 350-horsepower Supra, in today’s market, really qualifies as a performance car; and whether people who buy new cars instead of engine-swapping E30s or daily driving Italian classics are really Car Guys at all. You scoff at the idea of BMW piping engine noise into the cabin.

The minivan your parents handed down in high school (on the condition that you drive your sister to soccer practice) is long gone, the Civic you bought after college is reliable but boring, and now it’s time for something sporty that really shows that you, a Car Guy with impeccable taste, have arrived.

The car: A practical, front-wheel-drive economy hatchback that sold millions all over the world, except it’s the sporty version with a manual transmission and a 2-liter four-pot turbo’d up to 250 horsepower, and it has racing stripes because SPORTSCAR. It is extremely practical and reasonably fuel-efficient, and it’s a new car with a new-car warranty so it’s more financially responsible than buying something used, and you’re definitely a real Car Guy because it has a manual transmission.

What’s new that sucks: It’s not the really sporty version, with AWD and 350 horsepower, because that costs like 40 grand and even though you don’t have any student loans (thanks mom and dad!), that’s a lot of coin to drop on a new car, but you’ll tell the internet that AWD is for pussies and controlling the torque steer in a turbocharged FWD car is where real driving skill lies, and anyway horsepower arm-wrestling is for dummies and you’ll definitely be faster in an autocross (if and when you buy a helmet and enter one) because LIGHTNESS, which is what performance is really about, something something Colin Chapman.


What has always sucked: Well, it’s a front-wheel-drive Ford hatchback. It’s a pretty good front-wheel-drive Ford hatchback, but still. From the outside, unless you rev it to the high heavens, it sounds like the Civic you traded in for it; on the inside, it sounds like toddlers banging pots together because it has something called (checks notes.... seriously?) Sound Symposer that pipes fake engine noise into the cabin. It contradicts every post you’ve ever made on a car forum, and now you have to live with joining the car world’s biggest community of hypocrites. Lean into it, god knows every other Focus ST owner has.



“Horsepower numbers don’t tell the real story, the ST is really fast. Probably underrated. Ford always does that, I heard.”


“Everyone who drives something with less horsepower (Miata; BR-Z) is a pussy, everyone who drives something faster that they built themselves is too irresponsible with their money and their safety, and everyone who drives something with more horsepower that they bought is a poser douchebag.”


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