Ford failed to do proper justice to the introduction of the 15' sport. They dropped the ball on it. Here we are in time for a refresh and ford says to self what can we do to distinguish a new generation from the previous ones... And the ST was born. They gave it an aggressive fascia, bastardized the back of it and gave it some bells and whistles that the uninitiated may not be aware of and rolled them out!
There are a variety of improvements that the ST has over the Sport. Mainly I see them as safety features.
The 4 main selling points of the ST is engine HP, Suspension, Transmission, Performance brake package.
The 8 speed transmission is new territory for Ford. IIRC this is the first year that they have tested/ implemented them in vehicle for public use. Day 1 fail, damn year a year later they sorted it out. Remember it had to be different...
The performance brake package is essentially the same except for red caliper paint and a brushless radiator fan. The parts numbers are exactly the same. Size of pads right down to the size of the rotors. I asked the parts guy at my preferred dealership about the brakes and he showed them to me. If the brake pads are made of some secret sauce he said he didn't know. But to the naked eye and the wallet they are essentially the same.
According to various resources it has been stated that the ST is 20% stiffer suspension. Some say that the ST handles better than the Sport, but they share the same part numbers. I do not know if its one of those issues where multiple vehicles will share the same part and you have to enter your vin to get the one suited for your vehicle or if there is any actual difference. I'll discuss the suspension query with my parts guy the next time I go in.
The engine is the exact same. It shares the same tune as the MKX. Nothing new there. In fact the Sport sold in the middle east and other parts of the world have 335HP i.e the Lincoln tune.
I like the ST I really do. I just think it needs to be viewed correctly for what it is. If Ford did not give it the ST badge, and called it a sport would they generate the sales numbers that they do? Of course not.
Do we know if ST redesigned anything for sure? To much conflicting information to be sure.
Lets just enjoy our rides for what they are. There is plenty of road out there for all of us!