The Ford Focus is the best-selling car in the company’s lineup, globally, and is known for its low cost of entry, sporty handling, and customizable exterior. Now, hoping to woo the fast-growing rally crowd and add to the company’s lineup of sports-focused vehicles, Ford has unveiled the new Focus RS, an all-wheel drive, sport-tuned Ford Focus that enters the lower-end of Ford’s new lineup of sports cars.
At the Detroit auto show (NAIAS), Ford introduced the mid-range Mustang GT 350R and the high-end Ford GT supercar. With the Ford Focus RS, they now have a full lineup of sports cars to offer customers at all ends of the driving spectrum. What’s more, the AWD Focus RS also has appeal for the rally racing crowd and will no doubt become a rally car in the Ford RX team soon. Given that the “RS” moniker is Ford’s international racing badge, it’s clear where the Focus RS got its title.
The Ford Focus RS is based on the Focus hatchback, with some exterior enhancements for both cosmetic appeal and sports focus. A larger, dedicated rear spoiler and more aggressive-looking, faster airflow front grille mark it as a Ford Focus RS over its non-RS counterparts. Much of the chrome and offset coloring of the standard Focus are gone as well, being replaced by a more “blacked out” racing look instead.
Nineteen-inch wheels are standard, reports USA Today, as are several aerodynamic improvements around the Ford Focus RS. The interior sees several race-inspired changes as well, which USA Today calls an interior “performance makeover.” This includes a flat-bottom steering wheel, alloy pedal covers, a different instrument cluster, and a supplementary bank of gauges (similar to the ST models).
The Ford Focus RS will have some EcoBoost engine offerings, perhaps even its own unique engine, but Ford has been quieter about this. A tuned 2.3-liter high-compression EcoBoost four-cylinder is promised, but no details on performance metrics for that engine were included in Ford’s press release about the Focus RS. They do say it will produce over 315 horsepower and is similar to the custom 2.3L engine offered in the Mustang, but with a larger intercooler. The RPM limit will be around 6,800, and a six-speed manual transmission will be offered.
Since legendary madman Ken Block, long associated with Ford, was a big part of the design process for the Ford Focus RS, of course, he also had to be featured honing the car. Video of that was featured on Torque News and has been reproduced below. Block is seen ripping the car through a Ford assembly plant before skidding out to show it to an excited crowd at its unveiling.
The Ford Focus RS is slated for release “soon,” likely as a 2016 or 2017 model year offering.