The New York Auto Show was chosen by Ford to host the North American debut of the 2016 Ford Focus RS, the range-topping model of the Focus family.
The first RS model to go global will be produced for all markets at Ford’s Saarlouis plant in Germany and will arrive in the United States and Canada in spring 2016 with more than 315 horsepower from its 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine.
However, rumor has it that the Focus RS’ engine will develop around 345hp, which we have to admit sounds better than 315hp. Unfortunately, Ford still hasn’t released output and performance specs, so we don’t know whether the super-hot hatch will be able to take on posh rivals like the Audi RS3 and Mercedes A45 AMG.
What we do know is that the Focus RS gets an all-wheel drive system for the first time with Dynamic Torque Vectoring. The system continuously varies front-to-rear and side-to-side torque distribution to suit the driving situation. A maximum of 70 percent of the drive torque can be diverted to the rear axle and up to 100 percent of available torque can be sent to each rear wheel, improving handling and cornering stability. This allows Ford to offer a drift-mode, a feature that will no doubt thrill future owners.
Other chassis upgrades over the Focus ST include a stiffer sports suspension and specially tuned electric power-assisted steering.