ST Returns: Are the 2023 Ford Edge ST and Explorer ST Worthy?
Enthusiasts bowed their heads for a minute when Ford stopped making the Ford Focus ST and the Fiesta ST. Those were two, fairly normal, little cars that once the ST badge was applied, turned into positively quick road cars. But now the ST badge is back and Ford is putting it (and hotter engines) on both the Edge ST and the Explorer ST SUVs. Are they worthy of carrying on the ST name?
What does Ford ST stand for?
ST stands for Sport Technologies. Basically, it’s Ford’s in-house tuning team, much like Dodge has SRT, BMW has M and Hyundai makes N-Line. Overall, when you see an ST badge on a Ford Fiesta or Focus, you know that its driver is being punished by a harsh-riding performance suspension, but that at most stoplight races, it will be surprisingly quick.
The 2023 Ford Edge ST is expensive but quick (for an SUV)
Let’s get the price out of the way for the 2023 Ford Edge ST, because it’s high at about $47,000. But, for that, you get the top-of-the-line ST, with a 335-horsepower version of the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6. That’s good for a 0-60 run of about 6.0 seconds. The Edge ST doesn’t punish passengers like the old Focus would with a harsh suspension. Instead, it has a more road-focused version of the regular SUV.
The Edge ST, though, has pretty much the same interior of other Edge SUVs, which means you get Ford SYNC, carbon trim, nice seats and a roomy passenger area. It also has all-wheel drive standard.
The Explorer ST is a seven-seat hot rod
First off, the 2023 Ford Explorer ST is already a bomber. It’s the fastest version of the Ford Explorer with a 400-horsepower version of the 3.0-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo V6 that makes an impressive 415 lb.-ft of torque. Depending on whose figures you trust, it will hit 60 miles per hour in less than 5.5 seconds. And, just to keep all that power under control, Ford made the ST all-wheel drive.
It’s not cheap, starting at $49,260, but you can option it with performance brakes, an appearance package with the ST logo on the seats, and more. But, there’s not a faster Explorer around. It’s also one of the quickest seven-seaters on the market today.
What were the original Fiesta ST and Focus ST?
Ford is transitioning away from making cars, well, except the Mustang, and the Focus and Fiesta are recent casualties of the company’s new direction.
The Fiesta ST was Ford’s hot small hatch that was a cheap car that cost up to $23,000 new with a 197-horsepower turbocharged engine. It had a cheap interior, but it was a fun-to-drive stick-shift-only tiny hatch. The Focus ST was popular in the street racing scene. It was a bit less hardcore than the RS, but it came with a manual gearbox, stiff suspension, and a 252-horsepower 2.0-liter. Some, like Australia’s WhichCar are hoping the nameplate comes back as an all-electric hotrod.