• The 2021 Focus RS Will Push Into Mild-Hybrid Territory and Move Beyond Hot Hatch Classification

And, we won’t see it in the U.S., so it’s probably time to move to Europe.

I know you’re already bummed that the Ford Focus Hatch isn’t long for the U.S. market, and, I’m sorry to tell you, depression is about to set in even worse. We now have word from Car Magazine that the next-gen Focus RS is arriving soon and, even better yet, it’s being pushed into 400-horsepower, mild-hybrid territory. Will the new Focus RS feature a drift mode? Well, it’ll be better than that! This baby will ride like a hardcore hatch and accelerate like a true-to-life sportscar. Does it get any better than this?

Mild Hybrid Technology Means Big Changes Are Coming to the Focus RS

2016 Ford Focus RS – Driven High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 718797

If you’re living in Europe, you’re in for a very special treat. As it turns out, Ford is, in fact, going to carry over the 2.3-liter EcoBoost from the current Ford Focus RS. Right now, that engine makes 370 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque in the Focus RS Heritage Edition. And, the truth is, that probably won’t change. But, the battery pack and starter-generator will be there to boost output into the 400-horsepower range. There’s no word on torque yet, but it could be boosted closer to 400 pound-feet of torque as well.

The big thing to note here, however, is that the engine’s power will be shunted exclusively to the front wheels. Yes, the front wheels, but it’s not what you think.

That rear axle is going through a performance-inducing transition that will instill nothing but all-electric power to the rear wheels.

So, AWD will still be a thing and, better yet, Ford’s drift mode will most likely return, albeit with a little more limitation since the battery pack might not be able to hand excessive drifting for all that long. The drifting might be silent, though, so that would make for a weird twist.

The Next-Gen Ford Focus RS Will Debut in 2020….Probably

The 2021 Focus RS Will Push Into Mild-Hybrid Territory and Move Beyond Hot Hatch Classification
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The same report that sheds electrified light on the next-gen RS’ drivetrain also points out that it will actually be a 2021 model.

This means a couple of things. First, the 2021 Ford Focus RS will likely debut sometime in 2020, and it may even happen as early as summer of 2020 with pre-orders set to commence in immediate fashion. On the other hand, it also means that Ford is changing its routine in regard to when the high-performance RS models hit the market. To date, the RS has typically come at the end of the Focus’ life cycle – almost like a way to bolster the lineup and keep the model relevant until the next generation is ushered in.

The Fourth-Gen 2021 Ford Focus RS Could Be More Attainable!

The 2021 Focus RS Will Push Into Mild-Hybrid Territory and Move Beyond Hot Hatch Classification High Resolution Exterior
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With the 2021 RS coming so early in the fourth-generation lifecycle (this gen started in 2018,) the Focus RS might not be as limited as the models that came before it. Ford could, in fact, could be planning to Produce the RS over the course of several years, making it much easier to get one. The caveat here, however, is that the next-gen RS might be more expensive due to all of the new tech – it won’t be easier to develop or build, and will, therefore, probably hit the pocket a little harder. How much harder remains to be seen, but with the current model coming in at about $41,000, you can expect the fourth-gen, 2021 Ford Focus RS to command as much as $45,000 if not a little more.

With great power comes great pricing, or at least it seems that way anyway.

How Fast will the 2021 Ford Focus RS Be?

The 2021 Focus RS Will Push Into Mild-Hybrid Territory and Move Beyond Hot Hatch Classification High Resolution Exterior
- image 718779

The standard Ford Focus RS from 2016, complete with 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque (on the U.S. Market), was capable of sprinting from naught to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds on the way to a top speed of 165 mph. The 2019 Focus RS Heritage Edition boosted horsepower and torque into the 370 range, but we never got official performance specs. You can probably assume sprint times dropped by one-tenth of a second, but things will be more dramatic with the fourth-gen Focus RS.

When you take the AWD system into account, with the rear axle being all-electric and delivering near-instant torque deliver, plus another 400 ponies and nearly as much torque going to the front wheels, a sprint to 60 mph in the 4.3-second range isn’t entirely out of the question. I wouldn’t expect top speed to go any higher than 165 mph, but the sprint times should improve dramatically.

2020 Ford Focus RS specifications
Horsepower 400 HP 350 HP
Torque 395 LB-FT 350 LB-FT
0 to 60 mph 4.3 seconds 4.7 seconds
Top Speed 165 mph 165 mph

Final Thoughts

The 2021 Focus RS Will Push Into Mild-Hybrid Territory and Move Beyond Hot Hatch Classification
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I really don’t know what’s more impressive – the fact that the Focus RS will feature not only a hybrid drive system but an electrified rear axle, or the fact that Ford will be introducing it so early in the current generation’s life cycle. What’s really important is that the 2021 Ford Focus RS will actually be able to throw down with the Mercedes-AMG A45 and maybe even the A45 S, the latter of which will breach the 400 horsepower mark. The real question is whether or not the Focus RS will be able to sprint at the same level, as the 2020 A45 runs to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds – that’s a tall order but not far off from my speculation that the next-gen RS will do it in 4.3 seconds. It could end up being a very close call, but for now, we’ll just have to wait and see if the reports from CAR Magazine are legitimate or just rumors in the breeze.

Source: Car Magazine

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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