Ford is working on a top-secret new Focus RS, and is likely to choose next year’s London motor show for the car’s grand unveiling. The project is believed to need around 18 months to complete, so production cars should be ready by June 2009.

The new RS will be powered by a 280bhp turbocharged version of Ford’s five-cylinder engine, retains two-wheel drive but will use a special semi-active limited-slip diff to improve traction and on-limit handling. It has standard 19-inch wheels, special springs, dampers and anti-roll bars, and rides a little lower than the already-lowered Focus ST, which keeps its status as Ford’s bigger-selling, more versatile sporty saloon. Like the ST, the RS uses a six-speed stick-shift transmission.

it will have a deeper front bumper with rally-style brake and turbo air scoops, plus a rear roof spoiler design influenced by the WRC cars. Flared wheel arches won’t be on the agenda as they were in the previous Focus RS; they’re deemed too expensive for such a low-volume model. Instead, the RS will use distinctive interior materials and badges to emphasise its special status.

Source: AutoCar

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