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Frankfurt Auto Show: Ford Revs Up High-Performance Cars

In the cutbacks during Detroit's financial crisis, Ford eliminated its special high-performance models. Now the company is signaling a return to the cars enthusiasts love, showing performance versions of its Focus and Fiesta small cars at the Frankfurt Auto Show this week.

The Focus ST (at left), likely on sale next year here, uses a tuned-up version of Ford's 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder EcoBoost engine to deliver 247 horsepower. Jost Capito, head of global performance strategy for Ford, told USA Today: "We are determined that the new Focus ST will meet the expectations of our fans around the world."

Following the Focus ST will be an ST version of the subcompact Fiesta (below right). The Fiesta ST will have a 180-horsepower, turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, and Ford says it can go from 0 to 60 mph in less than seven seconds and has a top speed of 137 mph.

Although these high-performance cars sell in low volume, they are profitable models for car companies. And enthusiasts who like them spread positive word of mouth. Chrysler recently announced it would produce high-performance models under the SRT (Street Racing Technology) logo.

Photos courtesy of Ford Motor
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