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Hotter Ford Focus RS won't receive a power boost

The new Ford Focus RS looks set to spawn a hotter, limited production model judging by spy shots, but more power isn't on the cards

Ford could be plotting a faster, more dynamic version of its Focus RS hot hatch as it did with the second generation model, but the next step up for the mk3 Focus RS may not be RS500 badging and a power boost, according to Andy Barratt, Chairman of Ford Britain.

Speaking at the Geneva Motor Show, Barratt said that while it is certainly possible to eke more power out of the 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo currently producing 345bhp in the Focus RS, Ford has no plans to do so. It’s a void already filled by Mountune’s £899 FPM375 package, which takes power up to 375bhp.

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Interest in an even hotted Focus has been piqued by a papped RS test mule doing the rounds at the Nurburgring racetrack in Germany. The images show subtle (but important) changes to the bodywork including altered front air intakes and vents on the all-black bonnet.

At the time an insider told Auto Express all body panels on the standard RS have a function and are there “for a specific reason”. This means changes to this prototype are unlikely to be purely cosmetic, even if a power boost now seems unlikely.

Manufacturers are focussing more than ever on making cars lighter, so Ford will probably strip out unnecessary luxuries from the cabin and shave pounds with lightweight chassis and body components. Given the current Focus RS is one of the heavier hot hatches on the market, reducing weight will be a priority. Aerodynamic tweaks could make the cut too.

Expect tweaks to the chassis, brakes and the suspension setup to boost driver appeal further, and more of a focus on track driving ability. Whether or not Ford will join rivals like Mercedes and Audi in offering a dual-clutch automatic gearbox remains to be seen, however.

Barratt says that Ford is "still sold out" of the Focus RS 18 months after the £31,765 car's introduction. As for the price of the track honed version? Expect it to rise above the £35,000 figure of the old RS500, and a limited production run to ensure exclusivity.  

Are you excited about the potential return of the Ford Focus RS500? Let us know below...

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