Ford Focus RS on way

23 Aug, 2011 1:45pm Sam Hardy

The new Focus RS is go and it’s set to be faster than ever

Bosses at Ford have started to talk candidly for the first time about a firebreathing new performance flagship – and Auto Express has all the details.

The big news is that the third-generation RS will get a huge hike in power. The highly modified 2.0-litre EcoBoost turbocharged engine is set to eclipse the 301bhp output of the 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo in the previous version, with an output as high as 380bhp. That would be more than even the limited-edition Focus RS500, which delivered 350bhp.

Gunnar Herrmann, vehicle line director for Ford’s small car range, has been widely reported as saying: “I think [more power for the next-generation RS] is sustainable. With the RS500, we went up to 350bhp and some of our development units went up to 380bhp. And they had more torque.”

What’s more, the new RS will still be front-wheel drive. Herrmann added: “I think we stay with our two-wheel-drive strategy [for the new RS], which I think was well executed [for the previous version].”

This news comes as shock. Extracting anything over 300bhp from a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo would be no easy task; it would be one of the highest outputs of any mainstream performance car. But Herrmann believes it can be done – and if the RS delivers, it’s likely to rocket from 0-60mph in around 5.5 seconds and go on to an electronically limited 155mph top speed.

As for the chassis, Herrmann’s comments suggest the new hot Focus will get an updated version of Ford’s clever RevoKnuckle front suspension. This uses a modified McPherson front strut that allows more of the tyre to stay in contact with the road when cornering hard, and reduces torque steer. Plus, the comments appear to rule out rumours that the RS would get an electric motor to drive the rear wheels, maximising traction.

However, Herrmann clearly believes the new chassis can handle extra power. So, as well as getting updated suspension, the RS is likely to employ an even more sophisticated version of the firm’s torque vectoring system, which cleverly delivers torque to the front wheels without excessive wheelspin.

At the moment, there are no official plans for a three-door version of the latest Focus – although a coupe model is still on the cards – so our exclusive images show how the five-door RS could look. As with the forthcoming Focus ST, which will be five-door only, it’s easy to see how the practical shape can be made more muscular with a bodykit, gaping front grille and details such as a central exhaust and big rear wing.

Bosses have yet to reveal a launch date for the new RS, although it’s still at least two years away. However, fast Ford fans won’t have to wait too long for hot ST versions of the Focus and Fiesta to arrive. The wraps will be pulled off both models for the first time at next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show.

The Focus ST features a 247bhp 2.0-litre EcoBoost turbo, and is scheduled to land in dealers before the end of the year. Its sizzling Fiesta brother is likely to get a 1.6-litre EcoBoost with 200bhp, and goes on sale in the spring.

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Woopy do, the chavs will love it ,along with the bad build quality

Yet another badly built piece of junk

Oh no, the chavs would love to drive their Jaguars instead. After all chavs are always wannabe's wanting to be the upper class. I guess A1 Jaguar fits that role well.

As for this photoshop, it looks horrible,

Who cares?? It's only a Ford afterall.

This is the first Ford that's appealed to me in years, I like the look of it and I'm sure it's a blast to drive. But still it should be offered in all-wheel-drive, for me that's a dealbreaker as a buyer. Why would I or any discerning performance enthusiast choose this over a Lancer Evo X or Subaru WRX STI, no reason I can think of beyond price. I actually like the look of the Ford better, but it's crippled in comparison to AWD cars in the same category.

AWD or bust.

whoopy do, ford has made a 350+bhp car from 2 litre, japanese have been doing it for years

Is it just me or does the side profile look like a Citroen C4?

Also, front end is ugly as sin.

Absolutely amazing. Front and back.

For the new RS cruising around your local council estate soon......

... is not appealing Mr Ford!!!

Ye Gods, you can't be serious?!

The last Focus RS was very handsome, taut looking, squat, purposeful. This looks ridiculous. I can't see anyone looking at the front and thinking "wow what a good looking car"!

People rightly criticised Peugeot for their gapping mouthed styling on their latterly recent cars. They've learned that lesson it seems and they're moving away from that unhappy look.

But it seems Ford have not paid attention to the uproar over at Peugeot and they've given us something 10 times worse. Oh dear. I've had 2 ST Focus's. I don't think I'll be getting another one any time soon. I was thinking of downgrading to the handsome little Fiesta instead. But this ugly face does not bode well for any future fast Ford... not looking forward to the new Fiesta ST launch now ...

Your more likely to find a BMW or Audi parked up or driving around a council estate than any Focus RS let alone an ST you moron oliver144

This car needs AWD to be a serious contender for my money. With it, count me in!

i love the RS but for 25k? id rather have a big evil mitsubishi evo. 4wd and much more power! also why 5door? id rather have this though over a bmw or audi which are both overpriced . a 320d m sport = 30k the rs which is well built and mental power curve is cheaper by thousands

bit of a ugly face maybe but no doubt the lucky git driving it will have a huge smile! designed in the UK of course!

Every day l drive to work l pass though a duel carriageway with council houses on both sides you can't help but notice a bright CHAVY no taste green RS & bright CHAVY no taste orange ST that resides there.

When ever l see them on the road, they are driven by "boy racers" looking for a fight, it quite funny 99.9 of the time nobody bothers they are just in a race against themselves always tickles me, as everybody just moves off normally.

Definitely a CHAV's "Boy Racer" special, it's not even 4WD like a Scoobie. It's got no positive attributes at all and to top it all off its Made in Germany. It would be the very last car on my shopping list.

Another pointless Ford boy racer idiots type car!

But four door just goes to show you just can't polish a TURD!

Another WIDE MOUTHED FROGGY Ford? Why? I thought everyone panned that look when Peugeot tried it. Why is no one commenting now that Ford has adopted the same plug ugly look? It's even comes in the same colour as a frog!

AEX 1334
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