- May 15, 2005
- Melbourne, Australia
- Ford Focus XR5T
Ford?s next-generation Focus RS looks to be gaining traction.
The next generation of the on-again, off-again hero car has been spotted testing for the first time in Europe, adding to speculation that it will be revived after Ford?s decision to discontinue the previous model in 2010.
Wearing heavy camouflage, the RS pictured has been cleverly cloaked in bodywork from the more garden variety Focus ST. But photographers noticed one oddity: two bulbous exhausts poking through the bottom of the rear bumper, eschewing the regular centrally-mounted exhaust found on the ST.
Ford has been reticent to speculate on the future of the RS. The blue oval brand initially shelved development of a new model to concentrate on producing a full range of derivatives from the regular Focus platform.
But Ford of Europe chief operating officer Barb Samardzich recently told British magazine Auto Express: ?I can?t give you any confirmation today, but let?s say there?s a strong desire? to build a Focus RS.
It?s understood the new model will be powered by a 2.3-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder engine ? the same as that found on the upcoming base model Mustang. The punchy four-pot is likely to produce between 245kW and 260kW, bringing it into line with the maniacal Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG.
Rumours suggest it will continue to send power to the front wheels via an electronic differential. To counter torque steer (where the steering wheel pulls to one side under heavy acceleration), Ford is said to be utilising its Revoknuckle front suspension which has been designed specifically for high performance front-wheel drive applications.
The shared front-wheel drive design would enable Ford to keep its engineering costs down, meaning the RS could be cheaper than before.
Expect the new RS to widely differ in its appearance from the photographed test mule, too. The RS should receive the usual styling accompaniments including large spoilers, bulging wheel arches and gaping air intakes.
The next-generation RS has been slated for a 2016 release ? just ahead of Ford replacing the current Focus in 2017.
A limited edition run of just 315 Focus RS models were distributed to Australia in 2010, priced from about $60,000 plus on-road costs. The 224kW/440Nm front-wheel drive predecessor was offered only in manual guise.
This is gonna be epic!!!