Fast cars are a big deal for Ford. The fantastically shouty Mustang GT500 arrived not long ago, and it looks like a Mach 1 ‘Stang is on the way too. The ST range is sitting pretty with hopped-up versions of the Fiesta and Focus, which will soon be joined by a fast Puma.
In this environment, you’d think that a new version of Focus RS would be all but inevitable. After all, Ford has made one for each of the Focus’ previous generations. However, it’s now looking like the highly anticipated MkIV Focus RS is dead in the water.
Citing a source within Ford, French publication Caradisiac reports that there won’t be a new Focus RS. There are two main factors, the first being emissions - with fleet average CO2 figures needing to be down to 95g/km by 2021 in Europe, a new RS isn’t the most helpful kind of car to have in the stable.
Secondly, there’s the matter of money. Ford was drastically cutting costs across the board even before Covid-19 started giving the industry a kicking, with billions of dollars of savings targeted via job losses, factory closures and joint ventures like the Blue Oval’s partnership with VW. In that environment, it’s hard to justify a high-cost, low-return project like an RS.
It had been previously suggested that the gen four RS would go hybrid to make it more viable from an emissions standpoint, but given that this would make development even pricier, we wouldn’t bank on that happening.
By the looks of it, then, if you want a fast Focus now or in the future, it’s going to have to be an ST. The good news is it’s much more powerful and sophisticated than the last one, helping it fill the RS void to some extent.