Sporty ST variant of Focus was launched at Frankfurt in September; this is movie-bound hatchback, wagon was also shown

Sporty ST variant of Focus was launched at Frankfurt in September; this is movie-bound hatchback, wagon was also shown

Ford's British unit has achieved another high-profile product placement, securing a film role for the new Focus ST next year in The Sweeney, currently in production and inspired by the popular 1970s television series which featured the automaker's then-current Granada, Consul and Cortina models.

Flying Squad detectives Jack Regan (played by Ray Winstone) and George Carter (Ben Drew aka Plan B) will lead a cast of crime-busting officers as they give chase to London's criminals in black ST hatchbacks.

"Thanks to the Focus ST's 2.0-litre 250PS four-cylinder EcoBoost engine and explosive acceleration, the criminals will always struggle to make a clean getaway," Ford said. In the TV series, the baddies were usually in a Mark II Jaguar, the car of choice for bank robbers at the time.

The ST version of the Focus, which goes on sale in 40 countries from next year, was shown in final production-ready form at the Frankfurt motor show last September.

Last month, early-build units were secretly delivered to The Sweeney set, joining Mondeo, Galaxy and Transit models also being used as unmarked vehicles.

Director and co-writer Nick Love, whose prior films include The Football Factory and The Firm, said:  "It was important for me to collaborate with Ford on The Sweeney as their legacy with the original TV show is so strong – they're the perfect partner."

Production company Vertigo has the use of six STs during filming which continues until Christmas.  Set in modern day England, the movie also features Hayley Atwell (from Captain America), Damien Lewis (The Escapist and the recent HBO TV series Band of Brothers), Steven Mackintosh (Underworld: The Rise of the Lycans) and Paul Anderson (The Firm).

The film will have its premiere next September.

Ford has achieved a number of previous high-profile film car placements in recent years, including the US Thunderbird and, when it owned Aston Martin, a number of the brand's models, all in James Bond movies. Bond films have also been used to preview several new European Fords - including the Ka in 2008, Mondeo in 2006  (a hand-built prototype was specially prepared for that role) and the Cortina/Taunus during the mid-70s.