The Ford Focus RS is dead: no flagship hot hatch for Mk4 Focus

Hot versions of the new Focus will be capped at ST level, after Blue Oval confirms next-generation RS project is dead

Ford Focus RS Mk1: 2002 - 2003

Ford has confirmed that plans for a new Focus RS have been scrapped, meaning that the fourth-generation Focus will top out at the 276bhp ST hatchback and estate for the foreseeable future. 

A company statement reads: “As a result of pan-European emissions standards, increased CO2 taxation and the high cost of developing an RS with some form of electrification for a relatively low volume of vehicles, we are not planning another RS version of the Focus.”

The statement hints that Ford could have been some way in the stages of developing a hybrid drivetrain for any potential Mk4 Focus RS - something strongly rumoured as early as the launch of base versions of the fourth-generation car in 2018. 

However, it’s unlikely that any hybrid power developments ever reached any prototype or testing phase, and our spy photographers have never caught a glimpse of any Mk4 Focus RS mules.

The Focus RS has been no stranger to variety. The first-generation car relied on turbocharged, 2.0-litre power sending drive to the front axle, before the second-generation model switched to a five-cylinder unit. The previous Focus RS returned to four-cylinder power, but adopted an all-wheel-drive system incorporating a new ‘drift mode,’ too. However, Ford’s statement confirms that hybrid power in the RS - a CO2 reducing move - was not deemed possible. 

The RS badge has been used across all generations of the Escort and Focus hatchbacks in one way or another, but the statement applies specifically to this generation Focus, suggesting that Ford could look to reuse the badge in the future, where it deems it appropriate. 

“We remain committed to Ford Performance vehicles in Europe as part of our DNA with cars like the multi-award winning Focus and Fiesta ST as well as our Mustang and Ranger Raptor models,” the statement concludes.

What's your favourite RS-badge Ford? Let us know in the comments below...

Recommended

New 2021 Cupra Born teased in official spy shots
Cupra Born
Cupra el-Born

New 2021 Cupra Born teased in official spy shots

Road ready version of all-electric Cupra Born will be revealed in May
7 Apr 2021
New 2022 Ferrari Purosangue SUV spied again
Ferrari Purosangue
Ferrari

New 2022 Ferrari Purosangue SUV spied again

Ferrari’s first SUV is coming next year and an early prototype has been caught wearing some new parts
31 Mar 2021
New 2021 Audi RS 3 spied in saloon form
Audi RS3 2021 spy
Audi RS3

New 2021 Audi RS 3 spied in saloon form

Upcoming Audi RS 3 family of Sportback and saloon will have over 400bhp and five-cylinder power
24 Mar 2021
New 2021 Hyundai Kona N spied undisguised
New 2021 Hyundai Kona N spied undisguised
Hyundai Kona

New 2021 Hyundai Kona N spied undisguised

Covers come off latest Hyundai N-division project - the Kona N is a compact SUV with power from the i30 N
24 Mar 2021

Most Popular

'Nissan has been quietly building an advantage over electric car rivals'
Opinion Nissan EV
Nissan

'Nissan has been quietly building an advantage over electric car rivals'

Steve Fowler thinks Nissan is in a great position to build on the Leaf's success
8 Apr 2021
New Citroen C5 X flagship crossover set to offer ‘ultimate comfort’
Citroen C5 X - front
Citroen C5

New Citroen C5 X flagship crossover set to offer ‘ultimate comfort’

The new flagship Citroen C5 X will arrive with petrol and plug-in hybrid power, and looks set to cost from around £27,000 when it arrives in the UK in…
12 Apr 2021
New 2021 Kia EV6: UK prices and specifications confirmed
Kia EV6 - front
Kia EV6

New 2021 Kia EV6: UK prices and specifications confirmed

The new all-electric Kia EV6 gets two batteries, 4WD and even a rapid sporty GT version. Prices start from £40,895
30 Mar 2021