Rumors about Ford ’s planned revival of the Focus RS have been flying around since late 2013, with many sources claiming the hot hatch will return with as much as 330 horsepower on tap. As of 06/26/2014, the Focus RS is no longer a rumor, as our skilled paparazzi caught the upcoming rocket testing disguised as a Focus ST .
Don’t let the "ST" badge around back fool you, this mule is more than that, with plenty of details giving its true identity away. Look closer at the front end’s uncamouflaged area and you’ll notice a lip spoiler and a larger air intake in the lower apron. Of course, that’s not what the front bumper will look like in production form, but the intercooler seen in the spy shots is certainly different from the one fitted on the Focus ST .
The mule’s RS-ness becomes even more obvious around back, where a different exhaust pipe configuration peeks out underneath the bumper. Whereas the ST has a center-mounted, twin-pipe arrangement, the RS mule comes with separate tips placed toward the sides. Lastly, the camouflaged roof-mounted spoiler appears to sport a new design.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Ford Focus RS.
Sports Suspension, Bigger Brakes
Moving onto the sides, the hatchback sits lower than the Focus ST, suggesting this prototype carries a stiffened, sports suspension and track-tuned dampers. Although not obvious in these photos, the RS mule is also fitted with larger brake calipers. According to our photographers, who managed to get a good glimpse at the wheels, stopping power is provided by four-piston, Brembo calipers, which is a huge upgrade from the single-piston calipers offered on the ST.
The engine powering this beefed-up hatchback is still a mystery, but expect a Mustang -sourced, 2.3-liter EcoBoost to motivate the front wheels. Rumor has it the turbocharged four-banger will be good for 330 to 350 horsepower, a hefty improvement over the 2015 Mustang ’s 305-pony rating. Fresh details should surface by the end of the year, as the Focus RS is being readied for a 2015 introduction.
Why It Matters
The mule’s presence at the Nurburgring comes to confirm Ford is indeed working on a brand-new Focus RS. And this is big news given the enormous amount of power that will come with it and the heritage surrounding the RS badge since the days of the Escort and the Sierra. It took Ford more than 10 years to revamp the Focus RS, but it’s better late than never.