In this series, we’ll look into the history of compact performance offerings from Ford and how two parallel developments in the US and Europe have evolved into the new 2013 Ford Focus ST.
When we last left you, Ford had an instant hit with their Mk1 (say “Mark”) Cortina-Lotus. The last revision of the Mk1 Cortina-Lotus introduced a more simple and durable rear end system that was shared with the Cortina GT. This cost-cutting measure proved to be successful in racing and set in motion the groundwork for the Mk2.
Ford decided that the next Cortina Lotus had to be more cost effective than the last which meant moving production from Lotus back to Ford. The new Cortina Lotus shared much in common with the latest Mk2 Cortina GT, with the main differences being the engine and suspension. The Mk2 continued the tradition of the Mk1 by offering a stronger 109bhp version of the 1558cc Twin Cam. The cars were now offered with a choice of colors and allowed for cars to be adorned with or without the signature side stripe. The car now rolled on radial tires, increasing cornering performance even more. Another complaint of the Mk1 was its tiny fuel capacity. The Mk2 increased the fuel capacity while also allowing the spare tire to be mounted in its wheel well and battery to remain in the trunk to keep the car’s balance.