Ford has confirmed that it’ll be producing an RS version of its latest Mk4 Focus. Utilising uprated Mustang power, the extra-hot fourth-gen Focus will be sold globally for the first time ever to take on the likes of Honda’s forthcoming Civic Type R.
Power is expected to come from the same 2.3-litre unit found in the four-pot Mustang, but in the RS could be boosted to as much as 350bhp, giving it more than enough fire power to take on the circa 300bhp Honda and even VW's four-wheel drive Golf R.
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A six-speed manual will be standard fitment, and it seems likely that drive will be sent to the front wheels through an electronic differential, though whispers of four-wheel drive seem to have gained momentum (especially after this video). An updated version of the previous gen's (the chasing car pictured above) Revoknuckle front suspension will also be included to help transmit that power cleanly and effectively onto the road.
A test mule Focus RS has been spotted lapping the Nurburgring in recent months, suggesting the suspension will have been finely tuned to suit the track as much as fast road driving.
Raj Nair, Ford’s Group Vice President confirms: ‘to earn the RS badge, the vehicle has to be a no-compromise driver’s car that can deliver exceptional performance on the track when required while providing excellent every day driving.’
This ‘every day driving’ could benefit as the new RS will only be available as a five-door, like the rest of the range. Little more information has been provided, but we expect the car, which is set to go on sale ion 2016, to command a price tag of around £27,000.
The Focus RS will also be joined by ‘at least’ 11 more performance-focused models as Ford looks set to grow its presence in niche markets. A new global team, comprising Team RS, Ford SVT and Ford Racing will work to develop sporty Fords under the Ford Performance banner, helping to increase innovation while also reducing costs.
Ecoboost engines will be used to power these new cars, with Nair confirming the engine tech developed during testing is variable and diverse enough to satisfy a range containing high performance models. ‘From our most nimble Fiesta to our hard-working full-size pickups and racing vehicles, our line-up benefits from the innovations we deliver at the track and at the limit.’