Ford Unleashes Focus RS Hot Hatch in North America
Ford Motor Co. is finally bringing its high-performance Focus RS five-door hatch to North America.
A favorite among European enthusiasts for years, the next-generation RS will debut in the American market in spring 2016. All RS models will be supplied from Ford's factory in Saarlouis, Germany.
Ford Focus RS
The little pocket rocket will arrive with a 2.3-liter turbocharged engine that delivers 315 hp through a 6-speed manual gearbox to all four wheels. The car will feature an industry-first "drift" mode that enables the driver to induce controlled oversteer for tail-out, tire-burning turns on the track.
The RS's EcoBoost four-banger gets a twin-scroll turbocharger, modified intake system, upgraded cylinder head and head gasket, strengthened cast-iron cylinder liners, larger-bore exhaust and oversize radiator.
The drivetrain is fitted with a standard torque-vectoring system that continuously varies front-to-rear and side-to-side torque distribution. As much as 70% of engine torque can be directed to the rear wheels, with as much as 100% of that amount sent to one wheel. The result is a system that can literally drive the car into a turn.
The car's electronic stability control system is calibrated to work in tandem with the torque-vectoring system. Ford says the car can provide more than 1G of lateral acceleration.
The RS will be shod with standard Michelin Pilot Super Sport 235/35-R-19 tires. Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires are optional for track work.
Special aerodynamic elements include a front splitter, rear spoiler and underbody panels that generate zero lift front and rear. Brake cooling is enhanced with special cooling ducts from the front fascia, underbody channels and airflow guides on the lower suspension arms. Ford says the car's drag coefficient of 0.35 is 6% more aerodynamic than the current model RS.
Inside, Recaro seats help keep the driver in position. Other racy touches include alloy pedals, flat-bottom steering wheel and gauges for turbo boost, oil temperature and oil pressure.