Ford has officially revealed the all-new ultra hot hatch Focus RS, featuring Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control as well as a very capable 2.3 liter EcoBoost engine.
As stated in our preview of the new RS, it is indeed a global vehicle, which means that it will be available for the first time in the United States. Also the fact that it has all-wheel drive gives it a huge advantage over any rival from Renault, Opel, SEAT and so on, that would dare get into a staring contest with it.
The third-generation Focus RS is the most powerful production Focus ever and it should be the best one to drive considering that Gymkhana star Ken Block served as a development consultant for the car, which if you’re a fan, will mean a lot.
“The all-new Focus RS is a serious machine with high-performance technology and innovative engineering that sets a new benchmark for driving exhilaration on the road and track,” said Raj Nair, Ford’s VP of Global Product Development. “The RS line has a proud history of technical breakthroughs that have migrated to mainstream Ford vehicles to benefit all of our customers, and the new Focus RS is no exception. It’s a great example of our passion for innovation through performance, and creating vehicles that make people’s hearts pound.”
If you recall, the 2nd generation Focus RS was the one that introduced Ford’s RevoKnuckle front suspension system, which helped reduce torque steer and it really worked wonders in everyday applications.
Speaking of innovation, the all-new Focus RS is getting Ford’s Performance All-Wheel Drive system with Dynamic Torque Vectoring, which is set to combine outstanding traction and grip with optimal agility and cornering speed. This sort of stuff is exactly what you want when you’ve got Ken Block helping you fine tune your hot hatch.
The system is based on twin electronically controlled clutch packs on each side of the rear drive unit, managing the car’s front/rear torque split as well as side to side torque distribution on the rear axle. The control unit continuously varies the overall torque distribution by monitoring inputs from multiple sensors 100 times per second. This means that up to 70% torque can be diverted to the rear axle where then up to 100% of it can be sent to each rear wheel.
All this should have an outstanding impact on both handling and cornering stability, especially at higher speeds.
The new Focus RS will also feature sports suspension with spring rates, bushings and antiroll bars – all of them stiffer than those found in the Focus ST. The dampers offer changeable settings which let you set up your car for track driving, while the electric power-steering works along side a more rigid front suspension knuckle design, as shorter-link arms deliver a more connected and responsive steering feel.
Ford has also worked closely with Michelin in order to develop high performance 235/35 R19 tires for the Focus RS, with standard Pilot Super Sport wheels for everyday use and optional Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires for when you’ll be taking this bad boy out on the track.
Under the hood, Ford’s 2.3 liter turbocharged EcoBoost engine will have an output in excess of 315 HP or over 320PS, which is a clear upgrade from the old RS and it’s 2.5 liter 305 HP engine, which brought a 0-62 mph (100km/h) time of just 5.9 seconds – which wasn’t bad for a hot hatch back in 2009. The old Focus RS500 had its power bumped to 349 HP though.
According to Ford, the all-new RS should let you rev it up to 6,800 rpm with the help of a six-speed manual transmission, delivering fast and accurate shifts.
No word on performance figures yet, but we can assume this will be one very fast hot hatch.
As for the looks, this is one department where the Focus RS will definitely not disappoint. It features a bold upper trapezoidal grille out front, which along with the lower wings and large outboard openings on each side of the car, helps give it a wide and muscular stance.
At the rear, you’ll notice the exceptionally large diffuser as well as the epic twin round high performance exhaust outlets – at which we can’t stop staring.
The interior of the Focus RS looks great thanks to a reworked control layout with a simpler and more intuitive design. SYNC connectivity is also available, providing access to audio, sat-nav, climate control and mobile phones – all through a high definition 8″ color touch screen display. SYNC can be specified with rear view camera and park distance control, as well as Sony’s premium sound system with 10 speakers and a subwoofer.
Other than that, you’ll notice a new flat-bottomed steering wheel, alloy pedals and additional gauges above the center console displaying turbocharger boost pressure, oil temp and oil pressure.
Now, if you’re sold on buying the new RS, you’ll be able to choose one of four exterior colors (Nitrous Blue, Stealth Gray, Absolute Black and Frozen White). This car however features a Liquid Blue color scheme, the same one we’ve seen on the all-new Ford GT revealed last month in Detroit.
This is, without a doubt, a heck of a car. And performance wise, we think it should be able to challenge something like an Audi S3 (0-62 in 5.2 seconds) directly. But as of right now, we’re still waiting on the official numbers.