Ford have firmly committed themselves to a full-on assault at the performance end of the market. Clearly sniffing sales in speed, the latest member of the Blue Oval’s 12-strong fleet of new performance vehicles scheduled for global release by 2020 has been revealed at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The all-new Focus RS high-performance hatchback will take on the mantle of Ford’s premier hot-hatch and will be the third in a an illustrious line of Focus RS cars, following in the tyre tracks of its 2002 and 2009 predecessors. We loved the previous Focus RS offerings for their outright speed and exemplary drivability so the third in line to Ford’s hot-hatch throne has much to live up to
For starters, the new Focus RS comes equipped with a significantly upgraded version of the new four-cylinder 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine that debuted with the all-new Ford Mustang, now tuned to squeeze out over 345bhp at full chat. Even more impressively, you won’t need to thrash the rev limiter to unlock this brute force as maximum torque is available at between 2,000 and 4,500 rpm. Such low down power from a petrol engine proves why the turbocharged EcoBoost is one of the most highly regarded and efficient power trains in the business right now.
In true RS tradition, beyond the brute force the new Focus is a much more sophisticated beast . All that power on tap is nourished by an advanced engine cooling system based around an upgraded radiator pack, the biggest ever fitted to a Focus. Ford’s RS boffins have also developed a high performance exhaust system with an electronically controlled valve in the tailpipe for optimal performance and noise output which, it is claimed, will deliver the distinctive RS “burbles and pops”.
All Ford fanatics will understand that the Focus RS’s past success has come from its seamless combination of outright pace and superb handling. Throwing an RS full throttle in to the corners has become a time honoured ritual for its loyal fan base and the 2016 edition will benefit from a new all-wheel drive system with dynamic torque vectoring for optimum traction and grip through the turns.
Additionally, for those of a more sideways persuasion, the third generation Focus RS will be the first Ford RS model equipped with multiple drive modes, one of which is enticingly named “Drift Mode”. Does what it says on the tin, really.
The new Ford Focus RS debuts in UK showrooms from early 2016.