Just a few hours before the model was set to be officially unveiled, the all-new 2016 Ford Focus RS was leaked by a number of embargo-breaching British publications. Following last month’s reveal of the Ford GT Concept, it has become apparent that Ford has embarked on a new age of performance, and the Focus RS seems to have been more than worth the wait.

Unlike the first two generation of the Focus RS, this one will finally come with an all-wheel-drive system, but it will apparently not be identical to a traditional front-wheel-drive-based systems found in cars like the 2016 VW Golf R or the 2015 Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG. The "All-Wheel-Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring" system brings some much expected traction thanks to a "Rear Drive Unit" (RDU), which consists of not one but two electronically controlled clutch packs that, in theory, also act like a limited-slip differential.

With multiple sensors that monitor driving conditions 100 times per second, the RDU can manage both the front-to-rear and side-to-side torque distribution. Get this, despite being front-wheel-drive based, the all-new Ford Focus RS’ system can send up to 70 percent of the available torque to the rear axle, while each rear wheel can receive up to 100 percent of the torque. Ford says that the model can achieve a lateral acceleration that exceeds 1g on the track, but the biggest news is that new RS will also be capable of "controlled oversteer drifts" just like in a WRC vehicle.

Oh, and did we mention that it also has “in excess of” 320 PS (315 horsepower)?

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Ford Focus RS.

Why it matters

While the first two generations of the Focus RS impressed the media and its owners alike with high levels of WRC-derived technology, none of them even came close to being a true rally car for the road – at least not in the style of the Impreza WRX STi or the Lancer EVO. Why not? It’s simple, both had a ton of torque and were front-wheel drive. Sure, the second generation introduced the innovative RevoKnuckle suspension but it was still an econobox-turned-sports-car. The all-new Focus RS promises to leave all that behind with a more-than-welcome increase in horsepower and an intelligent all-wheel-drive system.

Derived from the new 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder in the Mustang, the Focus RS’ power plant will apparently deliver "in excess of 320 [metric] horsepower" (315 U.S. horsepower) when it goes into production in late 2015. Speaking of which, the model will be manufactured for all global markets at Ford’s Saarlouis plant in Germany.

Last, but certainly not least, driving purists can rest assured that the new Focus RS will come standard with a six-speed manual. In case you were wondering, no, I cannot find a single thing wrong with the new Focus RS, as it seems to be pretty much perfect for a performance-car enthusiast. The only detail that has the potential to become a deal-breaker is the starting price, but more on that in a few months.

Ford Focus RS

New Ford Focus RS Gets a Funky AWD System Exterior
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New Ford Focus RS Gets a Funky AWD System Exterior
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New Ford Focus RS Gets a Funky AWD System Exterior
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