New Ford Focus RS Is The Closest Thing To A Rally Car You Can Buy In Showroom
Updated September 3, 2018
Greetings from Europe! The Ford Focus RS has been revealed and at this very moment there are a few of them working and burbling their four-cylinder engines somewhere in Cologne, Germany, where the car has been developed and possibly produced. Yes, we have seen a new Ferrari today, but let’s face it: only those with a lot of money will enjoy it. The Ford Focus RS, on the other hand, is a bit more of a people’s car and, according to the official press release published by Ford, this one will be available all over the world. And we really mean it, the new Ford Focus RS will reach the States, Canada, China, Australia, Europe (of course) and every other part of the world also. So, what have they done to make it a worldwide hot hatch hit?
First of all, we have to tell you that they’ve equipped it with an engine from the Mustang. Now, we aren’t talking about those V8 or V6 engines, but about that beautiful 2.3-liter EcoBoost that churns out more than 300 HP for the Mustang. In the Focus RS, the engine received a new head gasket, a better cooling system, and a bit of that European refinement that made it sound like a full-fledged rally spec car.
The end result of the tweaking is an engine that produces more than 320 HP. Still, we do not know exactly how much power this engine produces. It might be 320 HP, but the maximum output could go to 350 HP as well.
As a refresher, the old gen Ford Focus RS has a five-cylinder engine that produces 305 HP and that car was, for a while, the most powerful and most extreme hot hatch in the world. Because of this, the Focus RS is already known throughout Europe. It was so successful, in fact, that Ford developed a special version – the RS500 – which had an engine good for 350 HP. The acceleration to 62 was at 5.3 seconds which is, for a hatchback, almost out of this world. So, it is fair to assume that the new Ford Focus RS will be faster than that. The only question remains how would Ford transfer all of that power to the ground?
The answer is the all-wheel-drive system the new Focus RS is equipped with. According to the first information, this is not just any four-wheel-drive system. The one used for the newest RS has an active torque converter and it is able to send 70 percent of power to the rear wheels. However, when it is crucial to provide thrust, the system allows the engine to channel up to 100 percent of torque to one wheel. This sounds so impressive that we would die for a spin in this car. Apart from that, the Focus RS is equipped with a six-speed manual transmission which only adds to the sporty credentials this car simply teams with.
Unfortunately, we do not know the performance figures for this car. One is obvious, the Ford Focus RS with the four-wheel-drive system, Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, more than 320 HP and exceptional six-speed transmission should be able to hit 60 in much less than 5 seconds. Some suggest that it’ll do it in 4.5 seconds which is on par with the Mercedes A-class AMG and the Audi RS3. That said, it is clear this hot hatch would shred its tires to pieces in a front-wheel-drive layout like its older Focus ST sibling.
Also, unofficial data suggest that the Focus RS will cost around $37,000 in the US, which would make it cheaper than some German and Japanese counterparts. Its “low” price is due to the classic interior layout which is slightly updated over the interior in the more-civilized-but-also-awesome Ford Focus ST. There are some new parts (better seats, better dash, new stitchings and so on), but everything else remained much the same. The exterior, however, was thoroughly redesigned.
The main rival of the Focus RS would most certainly be the Subaru Impreza WRX STi, but unlike the STi, Ford’s Rally division had almost nothing to do with this car while the STi can trace its rally pedigree back a couple decades. While a Ford Rally Focus RS would be an incredible machine, this car most certainly has its sights set on good old-fashioned pavement.
The body kit was specially developed to provide better cooling for the hot engine and the rear spoiler actually makes enough downforce to keep this car on the ground at all costs. More importantly, the rear diffuser (with a beautifully-inserted central fog lamp like on an F1 car) channels the air so it can cool the exhaust and make the car more stable at speed.
All in all, Ford did a wonderful job by creating a Focus RS that is almost ready to hit rally track. It’s fast, low, powerful, and full of surprises. At the end, it is even practical. Try to find more than 5 cars with four doors and such amazing driving credentials like this Ford Focus RS. It seems that the only question left to ask is whether or not Ford will be making a Focus RS rally car? Only time will tell.
Categories: Production Cars