New Ford Focus RS spotted testing on Nürburgring
Testing continues for new generation of Ford’s Focus RS
The RS-badged fast Ford will be the perfect sendoff for the third generation of the Focus. The car is expected to land in 2016 and Ford is hard at work on creating an RS worthy of the name.
Rumours suggest the RS will borrow the 2.3 litre EcoBoost 4-cyl engine from the new Mustang. The Mustang will be tuned to produce 305bhp but the RS is thought to have in the region of 330-350bhp under its bonnet.
Ford will also make changes elsewhere on the RS Focus including beefing up the ‘RevoKnuckle’ suspension already used in the ST. The car will retain the front-wheel-drive configuration that’s featured on all Focus models to date, rather than going for 4WD, which was deemed too expensive and too heavy.
Ford has stuck rigidly with FWD on its recent performance models and has been behind some of the best handling FWD cars ever. A six-speed gearbox will almost inevitably be offered and rumours suggest a mechanical limited slip diff will be included too.
The past two generations of Focus RS have become legendary in the hot hatchback world, the MK1 recognised for being tricky to handle with signature torque steer despite the Quaiffe diff. The Mk2 was a tamer beast but utlised the charismatic Volvo five-cylinder engine tuned to deliver 305bhp. Since then, the power available in hot Focuses has increased with each successive generation to the point where in the limited edition Focus RS500, the five-cylinder produced 350bhp.
The current Focus ST uses a 2.0-litre EcoBoost unit and starts from just £23k. With the BMW M135i available from £30k, there’s a clear gap at the top of the Focus line-up for the RS to fill. The car’s likely to dip under the £30k barrier to take the fight to the likes of the M135i, the Volkswagen Golf R and the Mercedes A45 AMG.