I too came from a SVT Contour, but I still have mine. It's a 99 with 223K miles. Still a great car, but the ST would run circles around it. A bone stock SVT Contour with a 3.0L swap is more comparable to a Focus ST.I owned a Contour SVT bought in Dec 1998, kept for 13 years.
Drove it over 100,000 miles.
Loved it. I could not find a car i wanted to replace it, from Ford. Until the MK3. So I bought a 2012 Mk3 SE sport package manual tranny.(Before the ST came to USA.)
Now i have ordered a ST.
So my ride was a SVT, but not a Focus SVT.[hihi]
I would say the ST is kind of the successor to the Contour SVT as well as the Focus SVT.
(Certainly a Fusion ST would be a successor to the Contour SVT also. but a Fusion ST would cost near $40 grand if they made one now, and it is clear they have NO plans for a Fusion ST.)
So the Focus ST is closer to what i think of when I remember my Contour SVT. (Price of the Contour SVT back in 1998 was $22,800. With inflation the ST3 is right on target at $30,000.
Smaller, but more power.
The Fiesta ST is also a step closer to the Focus SVT.. The Fiesta ST is more of a kindred spirit to the Focus SVT ... IMO more so than the Focus ST3
Cars tend to grow as the models get on in remakes..