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Ford Focus RS is going full on and full fat!
Fords fastest Focus RS unleashed at last !
With the latest Mitsubishi Evo X and Subaru Impreza STi being toned down, with more mainstream looks, the new RS will remain loud and proud, with aggressive styling inspired by the Focus WRC rally car.
Striking details include flared wheel arches, giving the RS a wider track for better high-speed stability. Filling these are 19-inch multi-spoke rims. A pronounced rear wing and sculpted bumpers improve aerodynamics.
Under the bonnet sits a heavily revised version of the 222bhp 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine from the Focus ST. In the RS, this will produce at least 280bhp and more than 400Nm of torque, ensuring blistering straight-line pace.
However, the big news is the confirmation from Ford that the RS will be front-wheel drive. Bosses at the blue oval’s Team RS performance arm decided that the extra weight, cost and complexity of four-wheel drive wasn’t necessary.
Instead, Ford has assembled the development team that was responsible for the original RS, plus ST versions of the Fiesta and Focus, and dispatched a left hand drive RS to the Nürburgring in Germany.
There it will work on refining an advanced electronic limited-slip differential, made by UK-based transmission specialist Quaife, which is designed to tame the engine’s power.
As well as perfecting the mechanics of the fastest-ever Focus, Team RS will pursue performance gains by shedding weight – so don’t expect to be able to spec lots of options.
The RS is likely to be three-door only, while a six-speed manual gearbox will be the sole transmission option.
With reduced weight, the car will be able to complete the 0-60mph sprint in sub 6 seconds, and go on to a top speed in excess of 155mph. Lowered sports suspension and upgraded brakes should ensure it has handling to match its pace.
Ford had its fingers burned by the first Focus RS. By loading it with expensive components from the world of motor sport, the 2002 car was sold at a loss.
The company has learned its lesson with the new RS, though, and parts and expertise will be sourced from within Ford. Combine this with annual production of around 5,000 rhd and lhd cars, thankfully the bosses have been able to justify building the ultimate Focus hot hatch.
All will be revealed at the British Motor Show in July and the car on show should be virtually identical to the final production model.
Pricing will remain undecided until closer to the launch, although a figure comfortably less than £25,000 is expected.