Lovers of fast Fords rejoice! Details have emerged about the next Focus RS, and it sounds like Ford is taking the fight straight to the Volkswagen Golf R.
Back in February we commissioned the above render, and speculated the new RS would feature the same 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine found in the Mustang, making around 330bhp. According to a Road & Track source, we weren’t far off. An insider has confirmed that that Mustang four-pot will indeed power the RS, with an expected output of up to 350bhp.
When the Mk2 Focus RS was unveiled, Ford said it didn’t want to use all-wheel drive due to the weight of the system negatively impacting the driving experience. That standpoint appears to have changed, however, as the new RS will get an all-new AWD setup that employs torque-vectoring to aid handling. The system is being developed with the intention of applying it to other fast Fords in the future.
Ford has responded to these claims in a statement to Car and Driver, and it denies nothing:
“None of what is being reported is confirmed, including the part about the RS coming to America. That said, everything in the [report] references existing stuff and is certainly doable. If you look at what we can do with the Escape, which is a C-platform vehicle, you can see these things are not beyond the realm of possibility.”
As far as rumour-confirming press statements go, that’s about as close to an admission of accuracy as you’re ever likely to see.
The good news for American Focus fans is that it looks like the 2016 RS will likely be going Stateside in ‘extremely limited numbers.’
It’s interesting to see Ford going down the AWD route. The original Focus RS was a torque-steering monster, while the second generation’s clever RevoKnuckle technology went some way to taming the 300bhp coursing through the front wheels. Having driven the handful that is the 250bhp Focus ST, we’re glad Ford is embracing new tech to put the power down.
As an AWD hot hatch, the Golf R will be the Focus’ main rival, hoping to blow that car out of the water through sheer grunt by rocking up with about 50bhp extra. We can’t wait to see these two go head-to-head.