The fourth generation Ford Focus is already on sale across Europe and will eventually arrive as a U.S. only Active crossover-inspired variant sometime next year. For the new model year, the vehicle is all-new inside and out, offering a revamped engine range, new automatic gearbox, and more upscale cabin. If you were already asking yourselves what powertrain the hotter ST modification will use, we’re happy to report we finally have some unofficial information on that matter.

Unfortunately, the new Focus ST won’t switch to the larger 2.3-litre EcoBoost from the Focus RS, but, according to a new report from Motoring, will instead retain its current 2.0-litre turbocharged engine. That’s not bad news after all, as previous reports suggested the model could move to Ford’s new 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine, but engineers of the company have decided the four-banger is a better option.

Ford is already testing the new Focus ST:

The current Focus ST boasts the same 2.0-litre engine, which delivers 252 brake horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. We expect the new EcoBoost to be slightly more powerful and, according to our source, it will finally be offered with an automatic gearbox with paddle shifts. The identity of that transmission remains a mystery, but most likely Ford will use its new eight-speed torque converter. A dual-clutch 'box is also a possibility.

Ford Focus hot version prototype spy photo
Ford Focus hot version prototype spy photo
Ford Focus hot version prototype spy photo

The new ST will have a multi-link rear suspension as standard, a layout that’s now optional on the regular Focus. It will ride on standard 18-inch wheels with the option of 19-inch and will feature a retuned version of the already quite precise handling system found in the standard Focus.

According to previous reports, a diesel-powered ST is also in the cards for the European market. The sporty hatch (and estate) with an ignition compression engine currently accounts for roughly half of the Focus ST sales, and Ford plans to stick with the 2.0-litre engine under the bonnet.

Gallery: Ford Focus hot version prototype spy photos