The next Ford Focus RS will go hunting the Audi RS3 and the Mercedes-AMG A45 with a 48-volt mild hybrid system and around 400bhp.
Targeted for a 2020 launch, the car will have power and torque figures to rival any of the German hot hatch behemoths we tested recently. While the internal combustion engine might not change all that much from the current 370bhp Mountune-fettled 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo, it will be boosted by an integrated 48v starter/generator (ISG) that will add up to 30bhp and 70lb ft, according to Autocar.
That torque – peaking at an estimated 425-450lb ft – should be available instantly from a standstill for a significant drop in acceleration times. Hitting 62mph several tenths faster is likely, putting it in the low-four-second bracket. The ISG will also allow seamless restarting using less fuel, plus longer engine-off periods while the car is in motion.
Speculation is rife that the new system will be teamed with a dual-clutch automatic gearbox to get the best out of it, but either way, an electrically-driven turbocharger seems likely. This more efficient means of spinning the snail should reduce turbo lag and help drop CO2 emissions by as much as 30g/km from its current 175g/km.