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US-built hot-hatches go head-to-head in Paris

Detroit giant Ford is to launch a high-performance version of its popular Ford Focus in 2012, the company confirmed September 15.

The Ford Focus ST will be the star attraction at the company's stand at the forthcoming Paris Motor Show, which runs from October 2 to 15.

With a launch in all global markets slated for 2012, the Focus ST was first hinted at during the Geneva Auto Show earlier this year and will be the first vehicle developed under the brand's global Performance Vehicles strategy, which saw the North American SVT and European TeamRS performance sections combined last year.

The 250 PS ST features a 2.0 litre four cylinder engine, a modified version of the EcoBoost engine used on other Focus models and more powerful than the unit used on its predecessor.

It also displays considerably more extreme styling than the subtle changes made to the previous performance versions of the Focus, with a large grill, prominent spoiler, 19-inch alloy wheels and a bright orange paint job dubbed "Tangerine Scream."

It will vie for attention at the show with the GTC Paris "hot hatch" already announced by General Motors brands Opel/Vauxhall, a concept widely believed to be a forerunner of a three-door performance version of the Astra expected next year.

The Paris Motor Show runs in Paris October 2-17.