While we already knew Ford was working on a brand-new Focus RS, we had no idea when the hot hatch would show its face to the world. That ends today, as the blue oval has just announced the Focus RS will lose its wraps on February 3rd. The announcement comes by way of a teaser video that will makes me even more curious about what the automaker has in store with the first RS to arrive Stateside.
Although less than a minute long, the footage shows the hatch doing some slides during testing in Belgium and the United States, but not before Ford tells us it was shot on closed courses and with ESP and traction control system deactivated. The Focus RS will be one naughty hatchback, that’s for sure. Whether it comes with all-wheel drive or not is a mystery this video doesn’t solve, but the RS’ behavior at some points in this teaser are hints an AWD system is present. Still, we’ll have to wait for official confirmation on that, as Ford was careful enough to not let things become too obvious.
Somewhat disappointing is that the blue oval continues to wrap the hatch’s nose in camouflage, preventing us from having access to the RS’ aggressive styling. Thankfully we have a fresh rendering of the beefed-up 2016 Focus RS’ new front end should you be too impatient to wait until February 3rd. We’ll find out if our artist nailed it or not in less than two weeks, so make sure you stay tuned to TopSpeed.com for the full review.
Click past the jump to read more about the new Ford Focus RS.
Why It Matters
With the Focus RS set to return after many years and, more importantly, with the hot hatch set to finally arrive in North American dealerships, an official unveil date is big news. It’s the confirmation we’ve all been waiting for and it makes the whole process of holding back until the hatch surfaces in all its glory a lot easier.
Sure, the important bits are still being kept in the vault, but at least now we know the wait will be over in less than two weeks. What’s more, based on the teaser video the new Focus RS looks quite exciting, if not the most dynamic vehicle in its segment. I have a feeling Ford might be looking to set a new Nurburgring record for FWD production cars.
The 2016 Focus RS is the third incarnation of Ford’s hot hatch. Unlike its predecessor, which used a 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine, the Mk3 switches to a 2.3-liter, EcoBoost four-banger based on the 2015 Mustang’s. Output is expected to sit at around 330 horsepower, which would make the Focus RS the most powerful high-performance hatchback as of 2015. An optional all-wheel-drive system is also rumored, but Ford has yet to comment on that possibility.
Design-wise, the RS borrows most of its cues from the current Focus, with a brand-new bumper and splitter to improve aerodynamics. Around back, a dual-exhaust arrangement and a roof-mounted spoiler set the RS apart from its plebeian siblings. Upgraded Brembo brakes are fitted to help bring the immense amount of oomph to a halt. Expect the 2016 Focus RS to retail from around $30,000 in the U.S.