Ford Rumored To Be Considering A Hotter Version Of The Focus RS
Model will be called the Focus RS500by Kirby Garlitos, on
The new Ford Focus RS is earning “standard-bearer” status within the hot hatch community, but soon it might not even be the fastest variant in its own family. That’s because there are rumors that Ford is considering building a more hardcore hatchback that will be called the Focus RS500.
Before anybody starts giggling with excitement, it’s important to remember that Ford has not officially confirmed any plans on a faster variant of the Focus. But, according to Australia’s Motor, Ford insiders have confirmed that a more powerful version of the Focus RS is in the works; one that would be much lighter than the RS, thereby improving its power-to-weight ratio numbers.
Adding more power to the Focus RS’s 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is going to be difficult considering that the RS, with its 350-horsepower output, is already running at close to maximum output and adding more power would be a challenge without having the space for additional cooling capacity. So instead of taking that route, Ford will be focusing on making the Focus RS500 significantly lighter than the RS variant. That would entail a number of weight-saving measures, including the use of lightweight components like a carbon fiber-reinforced plastic body work, polycarbonate windows, carbon fiber brakes, and a stripped-out interior.
To be clear, the rumored Focus RS500 is far from a done deal. While there may be some interest in Ford’s part to do it, the company is rumored to be gauging interest in the Focus RS before it signs off on building the RS500. Even if that happens, the RS500 would likely be produced in limited quantities much like its 2011 predecessor, which sold out in just 12 hours.
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Why it matters
I have often, and quite loudly, voiced my love and affection for the Ford Focus RS so I can’t even begin to imagine how excited I am to see what Ford can cook up with if it does sign off on the Focus RS500. Just thinking about what the RS can already do - 350 horsepower; 0 to 60 in 4.7 seconds; 165-mph top speed - and then imagining how Ford could top all of that is incredibly exciting.
The same report from Motor indicated that if Ford goes ahead with the development of the RS500, it’s going to target the Mercedes-AMG A45 and the Audi RS3. That’s notable because both German spitfires are capable of 0-to-60 times of 4.6 and 4.3 seconds, respectively. Ford has a lot of work to do with the RS500 if it wants to approach those times, especially that of the RS3, which is as close as a performance hatchback has come to breaking the four-second barrier in its segment.
Even then, both Mercedes and Audi are preparing new versions of the two models and there’s no telling what kind of performance improvements both hot hatchbacks will have when they hit the market. All I know is that the performance hatch segment has never been as competitive as it is today. That’s a enormously satisfying thing when you consider that these automakers are using they’re competitors to fuel their competitive instincts.
Who knows what Ford can do with a lighter and more performance-oriented version of the Focus RS. All I know is that I’m thrilled that Ford is considering it, but I’ll be happier if the American automaker confirms it. As awesome as the Focus RS is in my eyes, I wouldn’t mind it one bit if the a hotter version arrives. Make it happen, Ford! Build the Focus RS500!
Read our full review on the Ford Focus RS here.