It was an early start from London to Germany where we were promised that what awaited would be worth the cold and snowy conditions that confronted us. Ford is on a hard charge with its “Ford Performance” division promising a batch of exciting new cars from the blue oval in a short period of time. We saw what they were capable of when let loose with the all-new GT, which is nothing short of biblical, but what Ford had brought us to witness is arguably a far more important machine. The all-new third generation Ford Focus RS would soon be revealed to the world.
I love the RS pedigree that Ford has produced throughout its history, but for my generation it has always been about the Focus. The MK1 was a true “bad boy” with WRC inspired design and great performance to match. Ford’s MK2 RS has always been my favourite as its remarkable handling and ASBO inspired looks are what a hot hatchback is all about. This new car had some very big shoes to fill in my opinion, and indeed the worlds.
Taking our seats, the stage was set for the big moment. The tension in the room grew as a showing of past RS glories burbled around the stage including the Group-B monster that is the RS200. Cue dramatic lighting and a prototype Focus RS bursts onto the scene at quite a rate of knots. A deep exhaust note put a smile on everyones face as they watched in awe. Whoever this maniac was who had driven the car on was now darting around, drifting and partaking in creating some very smoky doughnuts. Who on Earth was behind the wheel? The car screeched to a halt and out emerged none other than internet sensation Ken Block. He has had a hand in developing and tweaking some of this new models handling characteristics. He then popped backstage with the prototype and reemerged with the finished article.
Sitting on a revolving platform in all of its glory, the new Ford Focus RS. What a purposeful looking machine! Finished in the same blue as we saw the GT at Detroit, its flared arches and exhaust pipes large enough to be mistaken for artillery, makes a statement. Whilst arguably a more conservative design when compared to its predecessor, the new car still looks mean as hell despite being more grownup. This is to be Ford’s first global Focus RS and it will be built in Germany starting late this year. Neat RS logos etched into surfaces, a deep grill, 19 inch alloy wheels and sports seats make for a devilishly handsome package.
As good as the car looks, you don’t want to read about how I gawped at it all day. You want to get straight to the juicy bits. Powering the Mk3 Ford Focus RS is a 2.3 litre turbocharge EcoBoost engine with “more than 320PS.” Official figures will be announced at a later date. The biggest news is that it is now all wheel drive enabling all of those ponies to be used to best effect. Intelligent torque vectoring, allowing over 1g of cornering forces to be generated, and a new system that can promote oversteer promises to make this RS one of the best handling yet. A six speed manual transmission is the only option for the ultimate in man and machine interaction. This generation will be the first Focus RS to be offered in 5 door guise with this being the only body style.
Demand for this car will no doubt be huge, and considering todays values of previous RS models, it would be wise to get your name down now for one. Interestingly the UK makes up half of all European RS sales. It will be intriguing to see if that title is retained when this car is let loose in America.
Whilst more details on performance are still incoming, it is safe to say that the new Focus RS is an impressive beast and I want one more than I want my next breath.
Take a look at the high resolution images on our Facebook page HERE.