Ford Focus RS blasts back

9 May, 2014 11:35am Jack Rix

Ford drops heavy hints that the new Ford Focus RS is a reality - now with more exclusive pictures and details

Ford has dropped the biggest hint yet that a new Ford Focus RS super-hatch is deep into development. Our exclusive images – which are based on the recently facelifted model – show how the world’s best-selling car will be turned from a family hatchback into one of the fastest front-wheel-drive cars ever made. 

Chief operating officer for Ford of Europe, Barb Samardzich, told us at a recent company event in Milan: “I can’t give you any confirmation today, but let’s say there’s a strong desire. Something like that makes a great halo car.”

A Ford spokesman backed up Samardzich’s comment, saying: “We have a rich heritage of RS cars, and we’re not about to let any competitors overtake us in that respect. You can rest assured that Martin [Smith, director of design, Ford of Europe] and his team are fully focused on the future of our performance strategy.”

A refreshed Focus ST is scheduled to arrive this summer. It’s expected to make its worldwide debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed at the end of next month – which is a reflection of the UK’s importance in the global hot hatch market. But while the styling will be significantly more extreme than the current model’s, there won’t be any power boosts for its 247bhp 2.0-litre turbo, leaving room for a more potent RS above it.

• Best hot hatchbacks to buy now

The hot favourite to feature under the bonnet of the Ford Focus RS is a new direct-injection 2.3-litre four-cylinder EcoBoost turbo, developed for the entry-level version of the latest Mustang. While it’ll produce 304bhp in the Mustang, which will arrive in the UK towards the end of 2014, it could be tuned to as much as 350bhp for the Focus RS – matching the previous-generation limited-edition RS500. 

To save weight and keep the cost down, the new RS will stick with a front-wheel-drive layout rather than four-wheel drive, and employ an electronic differential to maximise traction in all conditions. The previous-generation car’s clever Revoknuckle front suspension design will be carried over to help minimise torque steer, while in the absence of a three-door Focus, the RS will be offered as a five-door for the first time. 

To cement its place as the most extreme hatchback Ford’s ever built, the RS will get wider tyres, bigger brakes and a louder exhaust than the Focus ST. The brand will pull no punches with the styling, either – expect a feast of intakes, vents and spoilers, as our illustrations show.

The cabin looks set for an aggressive overhaul, too, featuring racing-style Recaro bucket seats and race-inspired materials such as Alcantara. Whatever package Ford decides to go with, we won’t see the Focus RS in showrooms anytime soon. If it does get the green light it should appear towards the end of the car’s lifecycle. As the Focus is due for replacement in 2017, it’s looking like 2016 before the production model arrives.

That’ll put Ford in the middle of a battle for the Nurburgring front-wheel-drive lap record – but there are plenty of other impressive contenders in the running.

Ford is aiming to keep the price at around £27,000; if it can hit that figure, the RS will offer one of the best £-per-horsepower figures on the road. Whatever package Ford decides to go with, we won’t see the Focus RS in showrooms anytime soon.

If it does get the green light it should appear towards the end of the car’s lifecycle. As the Focus is due for replacement in 2017, it’s looking like 2016 before the production model arrives.

For more on the history of Ford RS, click here

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Looks even angrier than previous versions!!!

'exclusive images' = more fictional photohsop meh

I could potentially be interested in buying such a car (As long as it does look too chavvy), but not if they release it just months before they release a new Focus!

If I'm going to buy the most expensive version of the car then I certainly don't want it to become the previous generation model straight away.

Why do they release the halo versions at the end of a models life and not near the beginning? Surely the aim of the halo model is to promote the range as a whole?

No bad news here! Bring it on!

Looks hideous yet it's somehow acceptable for a fast Ford. Simply exciting.

When will Ford get back to producing cars with style?

Mercedes blew the hot hatch segment wide open with their stupendously fast A45 AMG (also hinting at a 400bhp Brabus edition), catching traditional hot hatch makers with their pants down.
Volkswagen was the first to respond with Golf R. It has also bragged of building an R400. Ford can't afford to sit back. However I can't help thinking where will this madness lead to?

300 or even 350 bhp + front wheel drive only? Hmm......If they do make it, it'll be interesting to see how it puts the power down....particularly through you'd be going through tyres like they're going out of fashion!

You don't see many of those on the road though, people who buy 400BHP cars want proper cars designed from the beginning to be powerful cars. Not blinged up shopping carts.

Yeah, fact is though they always release the most powerful variants towards the end of a car models life. I think it's daft too.

Simply Wonderful!!

can tell it has been photoshoped; the spoiler on the back is at the completely the wrong angle, the rear wheels are flat and the side skirt is just the bottom of the door copy and pasted lower.

Its a good effort though, but stop lying and creating fake news.

Ah - that awful ugly Wide Mouth Friggy look again ... imagine the oddity who penned that and then thought - "Peugeot 208? yeah that big gapping maw look is a nice look" ...

Ah - that awful ugly Wide Mouth Froggy look again ... imagine the oddity who penned that thinking "The Peugeot 208? Yeah that big gapping maw look looks kinda attractive" ...

Our images are created by our artists based on what we expect the car to look like. The news and quotes in this article are not 'fake'.

With the new VW Golf R and Polo R both offering AWD, the next gen Focus RS riding on a revised platform should also offer AWD.

It's rendered not shopped...

No RWD or AWD = zero interess. I want to enjoy a car, not to fight with it.
having the same engine from the mustang should mean that the two would canibalise sales from each other

Oh dear god please release it in north america!! I'm tired of this BS that because i live in Canada I'm not allowed to have nice cars...

Why don't ford stop this silliness and make a rear drive version....what the hell are you going supposed to do with this?

Think this way, If you bought a Focus RS of the previous generation it still hasn't been superseded. You have a chance at quite at owning an exclusive car for 5+ years.

Have you driven anything FWD since the 80's... You might be in for a treat.

Wont be AWD mainly powered from the rear like the Focus RS WRC version.

Nurburgring times will be total rubbish it won't even be capable of making on to the top 100 fastest times list as it can't handle, it will struggle to handle torque steer or anything over 300 HP, it is so cheap n' nasty can't ever attract a premium price.

If you are £-per-horsepower is your forte why don't you go and buy a very cheap Dacia £-per-horsepower if CHEAP is all that maters its much better than an Focus RS, Fords 5.0L Stang will be a better buy next year.

Best buy a VW Polo at least it can beat Citroen at WRC, something the Focus RS is incapable of. Focus RS has very little going for it, only Chavs living off of bank of Mum and Dad for free will buy them to cruise McDonalds car parks on Friday nights to show Saxo owners who is king of the FWD boy racers.

Go and buy a nice British made Astra VXR Extreme, rather than a dull German made chavy Focus.

YAWN! Anyone who says buy a VW Polo is clearly worth passing straight past and ignoring all together.

Its not got RWD blah blah blah most people wouldnt know what to do with it if it did have it!

I agree compIetely. I recently test drove the new Focus ST and the torque steer was shocking and ruined an otherwise good car. I really don't get the hype of front wheel drive cars with so much power.

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