Confirmed: Ford to Add the Focus RS to its American Lineup
Ford has announced it will finally bring the Focus RS to the U.S. The news is among a slew of information coming the automaker’s December 11th press conference. Though nothing was specifically said about the Focus RS, we do know the car will start fresh with a new generation that includes a new powertrain. Earlier reports suggest the 2016 Focus RS will pack a more powerful version of the Mustang’s 2.3-liter, EcoBoost four-cylinder that will crank out an impressive 330 horsepower. That’s a solid 20-horsepower improvement over the ‘Stang. Count on torque coming in well above the Mustang’s 320-pound-feet mark too. These numbers are also well above the previous-generation and Euro-only Focus RS’ 300 horse and 325 pound-feet. This certainly will be one hot hatch.
Other performance parts will include a RevoKnuckle front suspension and performance brakes. Expect a quick-shifting, six-speed manual transmission and three pedals. Rumors of an all-wheel-drive system are floating around, though nothing is confirmed. This would be the first application of AWD on the Focus RS.
The news is part of a bigger picture dealing with Ford’s performance vehicles. The automaker announced its new skunkworks program, Ford Performance, that will integrate SVT, Team RS, and Ford Racing into one globally recognized organization. “Our new global Ford Performance team ties together racing, performance vehicles and parts,” says Raj Nair, Ford’s vice president of Global Product Development. “It will allow us to more quickly introduce products and accessories that meet the needs of customers around the world on-road and on the track.”
Click past the jump to read more about the Ford Focus RS.
Why it matters
The Focus RS is perhaps the most revered hot hatch on the market today but has sadly been kept from U.S. dealers for fear of slow sales. With Ford now seeing its other hot hatches — the Focus ST and Fiesta ST — selling better than expected, the halo hot hatch is headed here.
This, combined with the news of Ford Performance, is reason to celebrate. Ford is getting geared up for an all-out performance showdown with General Motors and Chrysler.
The Focus RS is one of Europe’s best hot hatch products, combining its small size, big, power, and affordability. The previous-generation RS came powered by a turbocharged, 2.5-liter, inline five-cylinder making 305 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. With a curb weight of 3,300 pounds, the car was quick at just 5.9 seconds to 60 mph despite its front-wheel-drive dynamics.