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2019 Ford Focus

2019 Ford Focus Exterior Interior
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The new Focus succeeds where the last models have failed

The Ford Focus has finally entered its fourth generation, and it brings a lot of change in terms of design, comfort, and economy. It comes complete with a largely revamped interior and loads of new technology; not to mention a range of new engines that are more powerful and more efficient. As usual, the new Focus will call Europe (and China) home first, before coming to the United States for the 2019 model year.

93 photos / 4 videos

Latest Ford Focus news and reviews:

2019 Ford Focus ST

2019 Ford Focus ST

Likely to arrive by the end of 2018

After seven successful years on the market, the third-generation Ford Focus was replaced by a brand-new hatchback. Although it’s too early to say whether the new model will be as successful as its predecessor, it has many features to brag about, starting with a new platform that will underpin several Ford vehicles in the future. It also boasts a sportier exterior, new tech inside the cabin, and a revised engine lineup. With the standard Focus on its way to dealerships as of 2018, it’s time to talk about the RS model. The performance-oriented model might arrive by the end of the year and rumors and renderings are already making headlines on the internet.

Ford’s very own competitor for the all-popular Volkswagen Golf GTI, the Focus ST will benefit from all the cool features of the new Focus, but it will receive a few extra features inside and out. The sportier exterior with more aggressive cues will be joined by an exclusive interior, while its engine will provide the most power in an ST model yet. Until the next-generation Focus RS arrives, the ST will sit at the top of the range in terms of performance and pricing. Let’s take a closer look at what we already know about this car in the speculative review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming Ford Fiesta ST.

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Ford to Bring the New 1.5-liter Three-Banger to the U.S. Market; Will it Wind Up In the Next-Gen Ford Focus?

Ford to Bring the New 1.5-liter Three-Banger to the U.S. Market; Will it Wind Up In the Next-Gen Ford Focus?

It’s the first Ford engine capable of running on two cylinders since 1906!

Unveiled earlier this month, the new-generation Ford Focus introduced a brand-new platform from the company, as well as a number of new or updated engines. Set to arrive in the United States sometime next year, the Focus could also bring Ford’s brand-new, 1.5-liter, three-cylinder EcoBoost unit to North America.

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The Ford Focus ST and Focus RS are Coming and One of Them Was Just Caught Testing on the Nurburgring

The Ford Focus ST and Focus RS are Coming and One of Them Was Just Caught Testing on the Nurburgring

Ford is already testing a beefed-up hatchback on the ’Ring

It’s been only a week since the fourth-generation Ford Focus was unveiled, and the company is already testing a new version of the hatchback. Our paparazzi just spotted a camouflaged Focus on the Nurburgring track, and despite the thick wrap, it’s pretty obvious that Ford isn’t testing the standard model. But what is it?

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Wallpaper of the Day: 2019 Ford Focus

Wallpaper of the Day: 2019 Ford Focus

These wallpapers might hold you over until the new Focus goes on sale

The new Focus is here, and its DNA has evolved in a way that pleases the car gods. It has a more aggressive look outside and a more refined interior with lots of new technology. It’s now a car for the modern ages and is now fully equipped to compete with the Honda Civic and Chevy Cruze, among others. The problem is that it will go on sale in Europe later this year (with more than 180 horsepower in range-topping form) but won’t come to the U.S. until sometime in 2019. It might not be a supercar, but the Focus does have its own following. If you’re one of the many Focus fans out there, we’ve hand-picked our favorite wallpaper of the new model and dropped a gallery for you to browse too – go ahead and take a few to keep your desktop fresh and the itch subdued until it goes on sale.

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Visual Comparison: 2018 Ford Focus vs 2019 Ford Focus

Visual Comparison: 2018 Ford Focus vs 2019 Ford Focus

Taking a closer look at the changes

After seven years on the market, the third-generation Focus was finally retired in 2018 and replaced with a new model redesigned on a clean sheet. Highly popular in the U.S. and Europe, the third-gen Focus leaves a big legacy behind. The outgoing hatchback was a high seller, it spawned the best ST model yet, and marked the return of the RS nameplate. Whether the new Focus will be able to fill the big shoes or not is hard to predict at this point, but we can compare the two cars inside and out to see what changed and which is ultimately more appealing. Let’s have a closer look below.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2019 Ford Focus

2019 Ford Focus

The new Focus succeeds where the last models have failed

The Ford Focus has finally entered its fourth generation, and it brings a lot of change in terms of design, comfort, and economy. It comes complete with a largely revamped interior and loads of new technology; not to mention a range of new engines that are more powerful and more efficient. As usual, the new Focus will call Europe (and China) home first, before coming to the United States for the 2019 model year.

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Latest Wallpapers:

Here's a Preview of What the Ford Focus ST and Focus RS Might Look Like

Here’s a Preview of What the Ford Focus ST and Focus RS Might Look Like

The future looks bright!

Ford just unveiled the fourth-generation Focus in London, and it’s pretty obvious that we have a new exciting hatchback underway. Sportier than ever before on the outside and equipped with better features on the inside, it’s powered by four drivetrains in Europe, including both gasoline and diesel options. And, just like the smaller Ka+ and Fiesta, it gained a crossover-inspired Active version. Having seen the new Focus, I can’t help but wonder how the ST and RS versions will look like. A couple of new renderings from X-Tomi Design provide the answer.

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The New Ford Focus is Here, and It's Itching for a Shot at the Volkswagen Golf and Honda Civic

The New Ford Focus is Here, and It’s Itching for a Shot at the Volkswagen Golf and Honda Civic

A clean sheet design means Ford probably did something right…

After seven years on the market, it’s time for the third-gen Focus to be put to rest as an all-new generation comes to life with major improvements in tow. Ford designed the fourth-gen Focus from the ground up, giving it some design cues from the now-defunct third-gen Focus RS to go with some seriously upgraded tech, new safety features, and a range of new engines that are not only more powerful but more efficient as well. Europe and China will see the fourth-gen Focus hit dealers by the turn of the year, but the U.S. won’t see the new model until sometime in 2019.

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One Minute News: Ford Teases the Focus Yet Again; Debut Imminent

One Minute News: Ford Teases the Focus Yet Again; Debut Imminent

With all this hype it better look amazing… just sayin.

The next-gen Ford Focus is set to debut, and Ford just can’t quit putting out the teasers in anticipation. It’s set to take on the Volkswagen Golf, Chevy Cruze, and Honda Civic, so it needs to be a looker. Work has it that it will be and you can even expect the Focus ST and Vignale to be released sometime this year as well. Word about the drivetrain is still nonexistent, but the Focus should grow a bit to offer more room inside and the Focus RS, which could come to be long before the end of the fourth-gen’s lifecycle, could even make use of Ford’s new Hybrid technology that could push the hatchback beyond the 400 horsepower mark. All eyes are on Ford today, folks. Stay tuned for the latest!

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Ford Teases the Next-Gen Focus Just Days Before its Debut

Ford Teases the Next-Gen Focus Just Days Before its Debut

We’re counting down the days until the fourth-gen model arrives

The unveiling of the next-generation Ford Focus is upon us. We’ve already seen the model numerous times through spy shots of test mules and photo shoots. Now, it’s Ford that’s doing the teasing courtesy of a new video that reveals a good number of details about the fourth-generation model. The all-new Ford Focus will make its highly anticipated debut next Wednesday, April 10. Circle those calendars, folks. The new Focus is arriving.

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2018 The Focus RS Heritage Edition is Here to Bid Farewell to the Current Generation

2018 The Focus RS Heritage Edition is Here to Bid Farewell to the Current Generation

Special edition hot hatch is a fitting goodbye

The current-generation Ford Focus RS has enjoyed an eventful life since it was unveiled at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. But like all good things, the Focus RS’s time in the sun is about to end. Weep not, though, dear friends, because Ford is giving the hot hatch the proper swan song with the release of the Focus RS Heritage Edition. Limited to just 50 units, the Focus RS Heritage doesn’t dabble in the subtleties. It’s got enough goodies and equipment to make even hardened hot hatch fans tremble in excitement. And, if that little tease isn’t enough to persuade you, maybe the hatch’s bright orange exterior will do the trick.

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Scoop: Fourth-gen, 2019 Ford Focus Spotted Without Camo!!

Scoop: Fourth-gen, 2019 Ford Focus Spotted Without Camo!!

They were apparently chased after taking the shot...

Nope, this isn’t an iCloud leak, but definitely equally scandalous (to us enthusiasts, at least!) The all-new fourth generation Ford Focus has been caught sans any clothes! Ford had earlier announced it would unveil the car in April, rather than bringing it to the Geneva Motor Show in February; but we’ve already gotten a peak!

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Latest spy shots:

Hot Hatch Comparison – Hyundai Veloster N Vs. Ford Focus ST

Hot Hatch Comparison – Hyundai Veloster N Vs. Ford Focus ST

Pitting the South Korean upstart against an American veteran

The new Hyundai Veloster N just dropped at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, serving up U.S. audiences a thick slice of the South Korean brand’s performance know-how on a three-door hatchback plate. It’s a tempting piece of kit, no doubt about it, but the Blue Oval won’t take it lying down, offering up the tried-and-true Focus ST as a strong counterpoint. Which is superior? We take a quick look at the numbers and specs to figure it out.

Continue reading for the full comparison.

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Focus RS Coolant Problem Finally Solved: Ford Used the Wrong Head Gasket

Focus RS Coolant Problem Finally Solved: Ford Used the Wrong Head Gasket

Did someone label the box wrong or did someone not pay attention?

At this point, just about everyone knows about the big coolant-burning problem with the Ford Focus RS. As it turns out, it’s not a problem with the engine at all, but really a problem with the head gasket used to seal the mating surface between the cylinder head and the engine block. One Focus RS owner had been digging into the problem for quite some time, reporting this problem to a very long thread on FocusRS.org forums. Upon getting his engine apart found that his head gasket was, indeed, blown. But, it’s not the fault of the gasket itself, as the gasket wasn’t designed for the Focus RS – it was designed for the Eco Boost Mustang, as evidenced by the part number cast into the metal portion of the gasket itself.

Keep reading to learn more about this breaking development

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Ford Admits 2.3-liter EcoBoost in early Focus RS Models Burn Coolant

Ford Admits 2.3-liter EcoBoost in early Focus RS Models Burn Coolant

And, they have an excuse but no fix yet....

The pin has finally dropped on the Ford Focus RS’ beleaguered 2.3-liter Ecoboost engine. After months of investigating, Ford has acknowledged that the Ecoboost engine powering the hot hatch has an issue that causes it to consume coolant fluid. Speaking with Autocar, the Blue Oval admitted that the problem causes some 2016 and 2017 models of the Focus RS to produce “white exhaust smoke,” a by-product of burning coolant during cold running.

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Feel Your Soul Ache as this Ford Focus RS Gets Crushed

Feel Your Soul Ache as this Ford Focus RS Gets Crushed

Look away if your stomachs are weak

If you have a weak stomach for cars getting destroyed, you might want to turn your heads away now. If you’re still here, then this is the kind of video that’s going to make you cringe. The subject of the video is a Ford Focus RS. It’s clearly seen better days, but it still looks in good enough shape to be salvaged. Unfortunately, it only takes a few seconds for the narrative to flip on this unsuspecting Focus RS as a junkyard crane uses its claws to crush it, pick it up, and drop it in a garbage container.

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2017 Ford Focus ST by Blood Type Racing

2017 Ford Focus ST by Blood Type Racing

Race-inspired hatchback with drone landing pad!

Launched in 2012, the latest Focus ST was the company’s range-topping hatchback until the RS model arrived for the 2016 model year. Although the ST was revised for 2015, the drivetrain remained unchanged, as did performance. As a result, the Focus ST lost its place under the spotlight as soon as the Focus RS made its entrance. Fortunately, several tuning companies are still offering upgrades for the ST, which remains an important model in the lineup despite being some five years old as of 2017. Blood Type Racing is one of those companies, and it just unveiled a flashy package for the 2017 SEMA Show.

Described as a concept that combines "lifestyle elements of moving images with motorsports," Blood Type Racing’s Focus ST boasts several upgrades inside and out, as well as under the hood. And while the aero kit is heavily based on modern racing, the wheel design and the paint remind of flashy vehicles you usually see in the Fast & Furious franchise. What’s more, the hatchback sports a roof rack and a custom landing pad for drones. A rather awkward package for what sort of elements it combines, but more than suitable for an event like the SEMA Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford Focus ST by Blood Type Racing.

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You Think You Can Beat A Real-Life Ford Focus RS On Forza Motorsport 6?

You Think You Can Beat A Real-Life Ford Focus RS On Forza Motorsport 6?

Fame and glory await if you can post a faster lap time than an actual Focus RS

At some point in our video game racing careers, most of us have probably wondered if our driving skills are up-to-par with actual race car drivers. I know I’ve had that thought in my years playing Gran Turismo. Well, for those who are determined to see that thought through, Ford is laying down a challenge to see if gamers really are as good as they say are. All they have to do is beat a lap time posted by a brand-new Ford Focus RS by driving their own Focus RS… in the world of Forza Motorsport 6.

The challenge is called “Tame the Track” and the objective of it is pretty straightforward. Chip Ganassi Racing driver Harry Tincknell will post an undisclosed lap time at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. Contestants who show up at the Gamescom event in Belgium later this month will then have an opportunity to beat Tincknell’s lap time using a Focus RS in Forza Motorsport 6 and driving it in the virtual representation of the world-famous race track. Whoever ends up posting the fastest lap times will then be flown to the actual Spa-Francorchamps track where they’ll meet up with no less than Tincknell himself for an afternoon of fun times that include driving a real Focus RS around the race track. In addition to that, winners will also receive some sweet digs for their accomplishments, including a pair of Recaro seats and goodies courtesy of B&O Play. The “Tame the Track” challenge will be open from August 23 to August 25 at Gamescom. Those three days should be more than enough time for gamers to see if they’re as good as they say they are.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2017 Ford Focus RS by Mountune

2017 Ford Focus RS by Mountune

Noted Ford tuner gives the mighty hot hatch more power

Mountune may not have the most famous name in the aftermarket tuning circle, but don’t let its relative anonymity distract you from what the tuner is fully capable of. We already saw what happens when it gets its hands on the Ford Focus RS. It did so last year with Ford Performance and managed to squeeze out 375 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. Now it’s back with a bigger and better upgrade for the hot hatch as calls for a 400-horsepower Ford Focus RS have finally been answered.

The scope of Mountune’s new modifications for the Focus RS covers a lot of ground as far as mechanical upgrades are concerned. There’s very little in the way of aesthetic enhancements, so customers are advised to find them elsewhere, be it from Ford or another aftermarket company. Nevertheless, the program’s lack of versatility shouldn’t be held against it, not with the promise of incredible power and performance. Take this kit from Mountune however you want to, but rest assured, this is as "no-nonsense" as any tuning program we’ve come across for the Ford Focus RS. It was developed for one purpose – power for ages – and the resulting numbers certainly speak for themselves.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2016 Ford Focus RS – Driven

2016 Ford Focus RS – Driven

The hottest hot hatch is hella fun!

The Ford Focus RS is finally blitzing across American soil after exclusively blasting around European hedgerows and rally circuits. Launched for the 2016 model year, the Focus RS uses some high-tech mechanics, EcoBoost power, and ultra sticky rubber to out-class its competition: the Subaru WRX STI and Volkswagen Golf R. Ford thought I should try the car myself, so a Focus RS coated in Stealth Gray arrived in my driveway. The tester came packed with nearly every option, including the 19-inch aluminum wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. Yeah, it was a fun week.

The RS, or Rally Sport, nomenclature started back in 1970 with the Ford Escort RS1600. It was among the first road-going cars to employ a four-valve cylinder head design. Decades later, Ford launched the 2002 Focus RS. This three-door hatch paid homage to Rally Sport-badged Fords before it, while igniting the hot-hatch segment. Sadly, production was kept to only 4,501 examples. Ford got wise by the decade’s end and launched the second-generation Focus RS for 2009. Still, production was kept to small quantities. That has changed with the third-generation Focus RS. Ford plans to produce the 350-horsepower beast through the 2018 model year, capstoned with a 1,500-unit Focus RS Limited Edition model And as mentioned, the Focus RS is selling in both Europe and North America.

So what’s it like to live with the 2016 Ford Focus RS? Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading for our review of the 2016 Focus RS

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Europe Is Also Getting The Ford Focus RS Limited Edition, Or At Least Something Like It

Europe Is Also Getting The Ford Focus RS Limited Edition, Or At Least Something Like It

Option Pack lets European owners of the Focus RS get their hands on the Quaife LSD

Yesterday’s news that Ford was introducing a limited edition Ford Focus RS in North America sent the hot hatch community into a frenzy. Understandably so, too, when you consider how the Focus RS was kept out of our hands for so long. But now that the Blue Oval’s bringing the hot hatch stateside, it’s making up for lost time with the Focus RS Limited Edition. That said, not everyone’s happy about the limited edition Ford, most notably customers in Europe who aren’t getting any of the 1,500 examples of the Focus RS Limited Edition. Rest easy, though, because Ford isn’t ignoring enthusiasts across the pond. The Ford Focus RS Limited Edition may not be going to Europe, but a new Option Pack is, and it’s pretty much the same thing.

So while it’s not technically a limited edition version of the Focus RS, owners of the hot-hatch in Europe can avail of the Option Pack and get most of the same upgrades given to the North America-bound Focus RS Limited Edition. The most important of these upgrades is the Quaife mechanical limited-slip differential, which really is the crowning feature of the special edition Focus RS in the U.S. and Canada. Cosmetic upgrades are also featured in the new pack, although there is one notable item missing from the Option Pack that’s available in North America as an option itself. Either way, I don’t expect our European friends to be too bummed about missing out on the Focus RS Limited Edition. They’re getting their cake too, albeit in a slightly different packaging.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2018 Ford Focus RS Limited Edition

2018 Ford Focus RS Limited Edition

Only 1,500 models will be made and they’re all for North America

The current-generation Ford Focus has given plenty of thrills in spills in the five years that it’s been in production. But now that the existing Blue Oval hatchback is ready to call it a day in 2018, Ford is commemorating the generation switch by bidding adieu to the performance-oriented Focus RS the only way it knows how: a special edition, swan-song model that’s limited to just 1,500 units in North America.

Officially called the Ford Focus RS Limited Edition (couldn’t think of a better name there, Ford?), the exclusive hot hatch comes with plenty of significant improvements over the standard RS counterpart, none more important than a properly functioning technical Quaife limited-slip differential. Yes, Focus RS lovers, our dreams have somewhat come true, albeit in very limited quantities. That issue notwithstanding, the addition of the limited-slip diff is significant for people, myself included, who have cried out to Ford to give the Focus RS the requisite component that makes cornering at high speeds even more of a delight. As awesome as the current generation Focus RS has been, the calls for more front-end grip have never dissipated. Now Ford’s delivering on the request and it’s on us now to reciprocate the gesture in kind. So, to whoever ends up with any of the 1,500 units of the Focus RS Limited Edition, do us a favor and drive the wheels off of it. We’ve all waited long enough.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Ford Focus RS Limited Edition.

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The 2017 Ford Focus RS Rides Like a Horse Cart & I Love It

The 2017 Ford Focus RS Rides Like a Horse Cart & I Love It

Choose between firm and abusive suspension settings

The long awaited and heavily vaunted Ford Focus RS is now sold in the U.S. There’s also a Stealth Gray Focus RS sitting in my driveway for the week. Yeah, it’s hard resisting the temptation of all-day drives and sideways drifting action as I stare at its aggressive styling through my office window. Not surprisingly, the car is incredibly fun to drive. The torque-rich engine and six-speed manual provide more than enough excitement, even when picking up groceries. But there’s one driving attribute I see as a double-edged sward – the insanely still suspension.

Smooth highways, broken pavement, washboarded asphalt near intersection – there’s no escaping the messages sent rattling through the Focus RS’s cabin down and into my bones. The Focus RS rides like Ford forgot to install springs and shocks. Every imperfection in road translated to the people inside. In reality, Ford paid great attention to the Focus RS’ suspension and the surrounding structure.

Continue reading for more on the 2017 Ford Focus RS.

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Hot Hatch Shakedown – Honda Civic Type R Vs. Ford Focus RS

Hot Hatch Shakedown – Honda Civic Type R Vs. Ford Focus RS

How can Honda justify the Type R’s asking price against Ford’s Focus RS bombshell?

For older stateside hot hatch fans out there, it’s probably crystal clear that we’re currently in a new golden age of performance, one that was once relegated to the realm of fantasy and bench racing. High-powered, tear-drop-shaped compacts with an odd number of doors, turbocharged power, and sports car-like handling are finally, finally finding their way to the U.S. market, and after decades of waiting and ogling from afar, U.S. buyers will soon have a chance to get behind the wheel of four-wheeled superstars previously considered forbidden fruit solely for Europe and Japan. Two of the biggest contenders in this space are the Honda Civic Type R and the Ford Focus RS, both incredible cars aimed squarely at the enthusiast buyer. But which is better?

You can’t help but put these two compact titans in a side-by-side comparison. Both are roughly the same in terms of cost, both come with turbocharged four-cylinder engines, both get manual transmissions, and both offer five-door practicality. Both also carry a long history of making speed lovers smile, and command a veritable army of zealous followers to champion their claim to hot hatch supremacy.

But there are some serious differences as well. While the Focus is an AWD hammer, boasting four corners of grip and some impressive firepower under the hood, the Civic is a FWD scalpel, packing less weight and a history of apex-hunting prowess.

Which will come out on top – the Blue Oval Drift Mode bomber, or the H Badge slice and dice katana? It’s America versus Japan in a hot hatch shakedown. Read on for our take.

Continue reading for the full comparison.

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Latest Reviews.Driven:

Compact Hatchback Battle Royal – Finding The Best In A Six-Model Slugfest

Compact Hatchback Battle Royal – Finding The Best In A Six-Model Slugfest

Each has five doors, FWD, sells for around $20K, and is fun to drive – but which will be crowned the winner?

Here’s the scenario – you want a car, but it has to be the right car. It’s gotta be practical and comfortable, but it can’t be a complete snooze-fest behind the wheel either. You don’t want a crossover, and a sedan isn’t gonna cut it. What you want is a hatchback, something with a little zest and personality, but something that won’t break the bank. Thankfully, there are plenty of options out there, but which to choose? To help you decide, we’ve gathered six of the top contenders and put them head-to-head in the following comparison article. Let’s get ready to rumble.

To keep it all apples-to-apples, each of the entries in our comparison comes packaged in a five-door body style, gets standard FWD, and is instilled with at least a hint of sportiness. Each is also tagged with an MSRP around the $20,000 mark. With criteria like that, we decided to include the Ford Focus ST, Honda Civic Hatchback, Hyundai Elantra GT, Mazda 3 Hatchback, Mini Cooper Hardtop Four-Door, and Volkswagen Golf GTI.

While all six of these hatchbacks are solid choices in their own right, the question remains – which is the best? Read on for our take.

Continue reading for the full comparison.

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2016 Ford Focus ST by Blood & Grease

2016 Ford Focus ST by Blood & Grease

Looking for old school inspiration in a modern package

The Specialty Equipment Market Association, better known as the acronym SEMA, was founded in 1963 by a laundry list of big names in the world of custom autos, including Dean Moon and Vic Edelbrock, Jr. These days, the scene looks a little different, with laptops replacing carburetor tuning, and drifters joining the drag racers. The Blue Oval hatchback you see before you attempts to blend a little bit of the old with the new, pairing “traditional hot rodding and modern tuning to reflect the ultimate in vehicle personalization.” Half a century ago, the founding fathers of SEMA would probably never have imagined what the scene has evolved into today, but the soul of it all remains the same – go fast, look good, express yourself on four wheels.

Taking responsibility for this build is Blood & Grease, a clothing and design company with a penchant for the hot rodding lifestyle. Working alongside the custom shop Vaccar Automotive Artistry, the B&G Ford started life as a 2016 Focus ST model. It’s an interesting starting point, considering the recent release of the Ford Focus RS, but the B&G ST follows through, adding a custom overhaul to the exterior and interior, while simultaneously tuning the go-fast bits to make more speed.

According to the builder, the end result is a “street-ready racer,” but how does it stack up against all the other SEMA-bound autos? Read on to find out.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford Focus ST by Blood & Grease.

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2016 Ford Focus RS by Roush Performance

2016 Ford Focus RS by Roush Performance

Noted Ford tuner rolls out another incredible tuning program for Ford’s resident hot hatch

I’ve ways felt like in addition to being an all-around awesome car, the Ford Focus RS also has the potential to be an aftermarket darling. It’s the kind of car that seamlessly blends a modern aggressive look with performance numbers to match. In other words, it’s ripe for the tuning world considering the wealth of modifications that it’s open to. So yes, I’m not surprised that Ford is rolling out a bunch of modified Focus RS models at the 2016 SEMA Auto Show. Even better, one of them comes by way of Roush Performance, considered as one of the best Ford tuners in the business.

See, Roush knows its way around Ford models like a Liberty Island tour guide knows his way around the Statue of Liberty. There’s an expertise that comes with building programs for Ford models that can only be achieved through years of building it, which is exactly what Roush Performance has been doing all this time. The results have been different, but just like what the tuner is presenting at SEMA, they all border on the ridiculous.

This particular program has it all. It has aerodynamic upgrades, engine modifications, enhanced suspension, a new set of wheels, and even a new shifter ball and performance pedals. Individually, these upgrades create a distinct separation from the standard Focus RS, but when you put them all together, the differences speak for themselves.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford Focus RS by Roush Performance.

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2016 Ford Focus RS by H&R Special Springs/StanceWorks

2016 Ford Focus RS by H&R Special Springs/StanceWorks

A well-rounded concept to stand out in a crowd of many

SEMA is one of our favorite times of the year. It gives us a chance to go into enthusiast mode and really get into all of the concepts that flood the show each year. This year is shaping up pretty well with so many variations for the Focus ST and Focus RS that we can barely keep track of them all. Fortunately, they are all completely unique, and all have their own story to tell. Take this Ford Focus RS put together by H&R Special Springs and StanceWorks. As the name of the builders imply, the main focus of the concept based on aesthetic and ride quality improvement. There’s a pretty sweet body kit and livery, an awesome suspension system, and a couple of minor mods to the interior and powertrain too.

With the Focus RS making such a huge splash in the hatchback market, it should come as no surprise that the Focus RS has been a focal point of a lot of tuners this year. With 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque on tap, all wrapped up in a sporty and aggressive package – not to mention that drift mode – the Focus RS has become a favorite of many. It even inspired Mercedes to add a “drift mode” to the AWD Mercedes-AMG E63. Funny comments and videos of drift mode fails aside; that’s pretty cool when you really think about it.

With that said, let’s take a good look at what H&R and StanceWorks did to their Focus RS and what we can expect to see at the car’s official debut at SEMA.

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2016 Ford Focus ST by Cinemotive Media

2016 Ford Focus ST by Cinemotive Media

This decade has been a good one for car enthusiasts, and the hot hatch market seems to be thriving with models like the new Honda Civic Hatch, Honda Civic Si, Lexus CT, Volkswagen Golf and Subaru Impreza hatch all fighting for attention from hatchback enthusiasts across the globe. In the past couple of years Ford has also made huge strides in the hatch market with the crazy Ford Focus RS, and it’s slightly tamer brethren the Focus ST. The Focus RS has a 350-horsepower monster of a four-banger that is borrowed from the EcoBoost Mustang, but the Focus ST makes use of a 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine. In stock form, the Focus ST produces a fair 252 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. While a lot of tuners are jumping on the Focus RS tuning wagon, other brands like Cinemotive Media have decided to take the tamed Focus ST and inject a little bit of wild into its DNA.

How wild does it get? Well, this specific model has been given a good handful of modifications with parts from Mountune that are guaranteed to help the Focus ST produce more power, followed by some suspension work, a new set of wheels, a performance brake system, a fresh livery with some mild exterior modifications, and just a touch of interior finessing to make this little hatch stand out in a crowd of many.

With that said, it looks like this Focus ST is all about going as opposed to showing, so let’s dive on into the all the greasy details before we’re stuck looking at a set of taillights as it drives off into the sunset.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford Focus ST by Cinemotive Media.

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2016 Ford Focus RS by Full-Race Motorsports

2016 Ford Focus RS by Full-Race Motorsports

A Focus RS that has been modified in all the right places.

When Ford put an end to the Ford Escort RS Cosworth in 1996, Ford fanboys everywhere died inside just a little bit. It took another six years for the infamous “RS” badge to show back up on the scene, and it just so happened to be on the brands resident hatchback, the Ford Focus. Fast forward to today and the third Generation Focus RS is a monster that boasts all-wheel drive, and a Mustang-derived EcoBoost Four-banger that delivers 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque from the factory. Fanboys and hatchback lovers alike are finally happy once again, but there’s still a lot more to the RS’ story to be written, as this baby is very tunable and Full-Race Motorsports has prepared a perfect example for this year’s SEMA show that proves just how tunable the Focus RS really is. And, I’m not talking about the type of tuning that focuses on handling or aesthetics; I’m talking about the kind of tuning that makes this hot hatch pump out 450 ponies!

Needless to say, engine technology has come a long way, with four-cylinders capable of doing things only heavy big-blocks could do 30 years ago. But, it doesn’t necessarily come easy. Full-Race Motorsports had to put in some considerable work that includes a new turbo kit and charge pipes, new exhaust and intake, and some pretty extensive driveline updates. Of course, to keep all of this power under control, there are various updates to the chassis and suspension. Plus, to make things even more visually pleasing, there are plentiful updates to the exterior as well.

With that said, I’m not going to waste any more of your time with generalizations. Let’s dig into this crazy Focus RS and talk about all the goodies that come with it.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford Focus RS by Full-Race Motorsports.

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Latest Videos:

Ford Might Scrap Plans for the Focus RS500 After All

Ford Might Scrap Plans for the Focus RS500 After All

Super hot hatch isn’t a slam dunk to be built anymore

The dreaded “business case.” A lot of cars, some of which we were excited to see, have fallen by the wayside because automakers couldn’t find a good “business case” for them. The Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge comes to mind as one of the more recent examples. Now it’s looking like the Ford Focus RS500 is going to give it some company, Ford’s souped-up version of the Focus RS that got everybody excited for a second.

Turns out, the project is on the verge of being called off as sources have told Autocar that there’s only a 30 percent chance of the car making production. The reason? Ford can’t find a good business case for it.

The sound of those gasps and groans are all the people who are undoubtedly disappointed by this turn of events. As recently as May 2016, the Focus RS500 seemed to a good bet to hit production. There were even multiple sightings of a test car in public. At the very least, it was an indication that the automaker had already hit the ground running on the super hot hatch’s development. But the tide has reportedly turned within Ford as the company has become increasingly wary of how the RS500 would fit into the company’s other performance models, most specifically the Mustang GT and the Mustang Shelby GT350.

While the comparisons between the Focus and the Mustang seem disjointed on the surface, the market for both models could overlap since the Focus RS500 would approach the power and performance capabilities of the Mustang GT and Shelby GT350. Ford isn’t too keen on taking that leap, especially if the Focus RS500 doesn’t do as well as it hopes in the U.S. market for that specific reason.

Another issue is scheduling, which is becoming more of an issue for Ford as the days wind down to the eventual replacement of the current Focus in late 2017. Launching a Focus RS500 so close to the end of the current model’s life cycle comes with its own set of pitfalls and Ford appears to be recognizing that now. It’s a tricky situation and to be fair, Ford has yet to make a final decision on whether to continue with the Focus RS500’s development or to pack it up and save it for another day. Hopefully, some clarity comes to light soon so nobody will be expecting something that isn’t arriving anymore.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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Ford Performance to Give Focus RS the EcoBoost Mustang Treatment

Ford Performance to Give Focus RS the EcoBoost Mustang Treatment

More power and torque for the RS? Take our money already!

It’s only been a few days since Ford announced that the EcoBoost Mustang was finally getting some attention from Ford Performance. It’s not a lot, but the EcoBoost can now be equipped with a cold air intake and an ECU remap that boosts its output by 25 horsepower and 70 pound-feet of torque, bringing the grand total up to 335 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. AS fate would have it, the Focus RS still has 15 ponies on the EcoBoost Mustang, but the Mustang now tops the RS’ torque by 40 pound-feet. It took about five minutes for RS fanboys everywhere to call out that the RS uses the same 2.3-liter engine as the EcoBoost Mustang. Well, you RS fanboys can rest easy, as Jesse Kershaw told Road & Track that there is a calibration kit for the RS coming down the pipeline.

“From an engine and powertrain standpoint, we feel very comfortable with doing something on the RS,” said Kershaw. “I hesitate to give any dates or any more information than that, but I can tell you we’re working on it, and we fully expect to have a Focus RS calibration in the future.”

With that in mind, it’s also important to remember that the RS does have at least one major limitation – that all-wheel-drive system. See that system was designed and specifically optimized for the RS’ factory output of 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. On top of that, the RS already has some advanced ECU calibration to give those extra 40 ponies over the EcoBoost Mustang. So, don’t expect this tuning package from Ford Performance to show up tomorrow, as there is some work to do. But, coming from Ford Performance, it should offer mild bumps in horsepower and torque, while also allowing you to maintain your factory warranty.

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Ken Block Turns an Industrial Park into a Playground in Gymkhana NINE

Ken Block Turns an Industrial Park into a Playground in Gymkhana NINE

The master hoonigan goes back to his roots

So, Ken Block has just released Gymkhana NINE, the latest installment in a series that has given auto heads a lot of joy over the years. Unlike the seventh and eighth versions of Gymkhana, NINE was filmed in what is essentially a closed-off abandoned industrial estate. It’s not exactly Los Angeles or Dubai, but the more private setting does make a callback to the roots of Gymkhana, right down to the ridiculous stunts and preposterous amount of tire smoke.

I don’t want to be a prisoner-of-the-moment here and call NINE the best Gymkhana episode yet, but there is a visceral joy in watching the CEO of burnouts perform one insane stunt after another, including jumping directly in the face of an incoming train and touching those rear tires on the literal edge of a pier in the middle of performing those patented burnouts.

To be clear, Block wasn’t the only star of Gymkhana NINE. Sharing co-star honors is his all new 600-horsepower Ford Focus RS RX, the same car that he’ll be kicking some dirt in at the World Rallycross Championship. Together, man and machine give us a Gymkhana episode of a lifetime, one that we’re unlikely to forget anytime soon and foolish to even attempt on our own.

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2016 Ford Focus RS by Hennessey

2016 Ford Focus RS by Hennessey

American tuner gives the already impressive Focus RS even more reason to be awesome

We’ve seen Hennessey do some pretty incredible things in the aftermarket tuning scene. It’s been able to get as much as 1,000 horsepower on American sports cars. It’s done performance wonders for pickups and SUVs. It’s even built a supercar that challenged the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport as the fastest production car in the world. Now Hennessey is setting its sights on another performance maven, namely the Ford Focus RS. It’s not exactly a Mustang or a Corvette, but as the trend-setting hot hatch of today’s market, the Focus RS is as sought-after a car as there is anywhere. Hennessey knows this, which is why it has prepared the HPE400 program that gives the Focus RS a new output of, you guessed it, 400 horsepower and 425 pound-feet of torque.

Truth be told, the HPE400 program is far from complete. Hennessey itself made that point quite clear in its own website. In its own words, there’s still work to be done on the hot hatch before the final product is released. But some details have been revealed, which is what we’re diving into with this review.

The tuner hasn’t given a specific timetable on when the complete kit will be released, but Focus RS owners have been advised. If you’re looking to give your hot hatch an extra bounce or two, you can take it to tuners that already offer kits or you can wait for Hennessey to release its own program. Personally, I prefer to take that second option.

Continue after the jump to read the full review.

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Ford To Start Offering Driving Lessons To Focus RS Owners

Ford To Start Offering Driving Lessons To Focus RS Owners

If you’re going to offer a Drift Mode on the Focus RS, might as well teach owners how to use it

One of the most important features of the Ford Focus RS is its Drift Mode, which Ford engineers apparently created by accident. It turned out to be a stroke of genius for the Blue Oval and now, the automaker is capitalizing on the hot hatch’s popularity by offering a free one-day course at the Ford Performance Racing School in Grantsville, Utah for owners of 2016 and 2017 Focus RS models.

The complimentary driving school is called the RS Adrenaline Academy. It’s similar in a lot of ways to the ST Octane Academy that Ford previously offered to owners of the Focus ST and Fiesta ST models. The only difference is that this program is dedicated to the Focus RS and comes with classroom discussions, shifting, braking, and cornering exercises, and practical applications of all four driving modes found in the Focus RS, most notably the Drift Mode.

While the whole course comes free of charge, the airfare and accommodations to go to Utah isn’t. Interested participants will have to shoulder those expenses and if they enjoy their time in the facility, Ford is also offering a second-day session with the Ford Mustang GT at an added cost. Registration is now open on the dedicated RS Adrenaline Academy website (www.rsadrenalineacademy.com) but there is a caveat on who is eligible to participate in the one-day crash course. According to the site, “anyone who purchased and took delivery of a NEW Ford Focus RS will have one calendar year from the date of delivery to register and attend an RS Adrenaline Academy program.”

Be sure to browse through the site’s FAQ section to learn more about the RS Adrenaline Academy. Ford has yet to reveal the class schedules but has promised to do so sooner than later.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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Ford Focus RS Up For Grabs At The Inaugural Forza Racing Championship

Ford Focus RS Up For Grabs At The Inaugural Forza Racing Championship

Compete in the championship’s Elite series for a chance to go home with one of today’s most popular hot hatchbacks

This time last year, Ford introduced the Focus RS Forza Motorsport Edition, a special edition version of the popular hot hatch that came with a flashy exterior body wrap that was designed by players of Forza Motorsport. Fast forward one year later and the Focus RS and Forza are once again headlining a news item together after it was announced that the Focus RS would be the top prize for the inaugural ESL Forza Racing Championship.

That’s right. If the $35,900 price for the actual car is a little too steep, gamers can try their luck at competing against a stiff field of top caliber video game racers. That’s what the Forza Racing Championship is offering.

The mechanics are relatively straight-forward, even for those who are not avid Forza racers. As long as the game is available to play, gamers will get the chance to compete in three Forza RC Elite Series Rivals Qualifiers event that will be held over the next three weeks. The top 128 players from any of the three qualifying weeks will move on that week’s series cup where the field will be cut down to the top 16 racers. Those who made the cut will move on to the weekly Elite Series Cup and the winners will make up the top four that will compete in the Grand Finals on September 4. That’s when the battle royal for the Focus RS ensues and whoever wins that race will be handed the keys to a brand spankin’ new 2017 Ford Focus RS.

Those who owned up on the losing end aren’t going home empty-handed either. Sure, they don’t get the Focus RS, but they do get some interesting prizes, including Xbox One S consoles, video game steering wheels from Logitech, and Elite controllers, among others. As an added bonus, everyone who participates in the series will also receive a liveried-out 1973 Ford Escort 1600 to play within the game.

Gamers who don’t think they’re up to stuff to win the Elite Series, they can take their talents to the ForzaRC Open Series League where they can match wits with players of different skill levels for a chance to win in-game content bonuses. It’s not exactly on the same level as a Ford Focus RS, but it’s something that’s still worth a humble brag or two.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Mountune and Ford Performance to Offer Engine Upgrade for Ford Focus RS

Mountune and Ford Performance to Offer Engine Upgrade for Ford Focus RS

Even more power and more torque for the hot hatch!!!

Just five years ago, Mountune – a brand that specializes in tuning Focus, Fiesta, and Mustang models – released a sick upgrade for the 2011 Ford Focus RS that brought it up from 300 horsepower to around 345 horsepower. This was enough to make the previous-gen RS the equivalent of the Ford Focus RS500 at the time. Now, Ford Performance and Mountune have dropped a new upgrade package for the new Ford Focus RS and, while it doesn’t bring as much as the upgrade for the 2011 model, it does offer up an extra chunk of power that you want to have if you’re an RS owner – the few of you that have managed to take delivery of your hot hatch, that is.

Surprisingly, there isn’t a lot that goes into the upgrade. To start off, the car gets a new, high-performance air filter, followed by a bespoke alloy crossover duct with silicone hoses, an upgraded air re-circulation valve, and some revised tuning for the engine control unit (ECU.) The power increase is a decent 20 horsepower and 29.5 pound-feet of torque. It’s enough to drop the RS’ 0-to-60 mph sprint from 4.7 seconds to 4.5 seconds. And, as Ford so willingly pointed out, this makes the Focus RS quicker to 60 mph than the Porsche 911 Carrera – a model that costs more than double that of the Focus RS.

Tyrone Johnson, a Vehicle Engineering Manage for Ford Performance, said, “Ford has a proud history of working with Mountune to unleash even more power from our hot hatchbacks for dedicated performance enthusiasts. Boosting power to 375 PS launches the already class-leading Focus RS even further ahead of the field.”

For now, this package is only available in the U.K. where Ford has received upward of 4,600 orders since last September. It can be fitted by any Mountune-appointed dealer in just 1.5 hours and doesn’t void any of the factory warranties – a nice feature that comes along with the partnership between Mountune and Ford Performance. The package will set you back £899, or about $1,175 at current exchange rates. To break it down for you, that comes to about $48.95 per extra pony and $39.83 for each extra pound-foot of gut-wrenching torque.

Keep reading for the rest of the story.

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2016 Ford Focus RS RX By Hoonigan Racing

2016 Ford Focus RS RX By Hoonigan Racing

Hoonigan Racing is ready for this season with the new Ford Focus RS RX

At the end of Ken Block’s last Gymkhana video, Gymkhana 8, we were left hanging with a teaser of “Ken Blocks Ford Focus RS RX.” It featured an outrageously wide body kit with blacked out headlights and vents all over the place. But it raised an interesting question: Just what the hell is a Focus RS RX? Was it the “hardcore version” of the RX we talked about back in November of 2015? Well, it kind of is, but don’t expect it to show up in dealerships anytime soon.

We would love to see Ford produce a production version of the RS RX (you’ll see why later on in this review,) but for now, it looks like the only people lucky enough to get their hands on one will be none less than Ken Block and Andreas Bakkerud – Block’s new teammate. As it turns out, Hoonigan Racing Division will have official factory support from Ford for the 2016 WRC racing season. And with such, comes the most extreme variants of the Focus we’ve seen to date.

As you would expect, the cars used by Block and Bakkerud won’t feature that boring gray livery we saw at the end of Gymkhana 8. Instead, the cars each feature a unique livery put together by international graffiti artist Felipe Pantone.

In a recent press release, Block was more than happy with what Ford Performance did with the RS, saying “I’m really happy to be expanding my relationship with Ford Performance. To have official factory support for my race season in 2016 and beyond as I enter the FIA World Rallycross Championship full-time is absolutely incredible. It opens up a ton of powerful resources that myself and my team will be able to benefit from in terms of engineering prowess, research, development and racing experience from different fields. Plus, have you seen the car that they’ve created for me to go race in? My mind was blown when they showed it to me in Dearborn a few months ago. I absolutely cannot wait to get behind the wheel and start testing.”

Of course, if Ford Performance dropped one of these babies in my lap, I’d be ecstatic too. So, let’s take a closer look at the most extreme Focus ever made. You won’t believe the kind of performance boasted by the Focus RS RX – it’s truly out of this world.

Updated 07/11/2016: Ford dropped a new video showing the new Focus RS RX scoring its second World Rallycross victory with Andreas Bakkerud behind the wheel. Hit "play" to watch the video!

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford Focus RX By Hoonigan Racing.

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2018 Ford Focus RS500

2018 Ford Focus RS500

It’s all but confirmed — Ford has been working on a better Focus RS

We all got extremely excited when Ford dropped details on the Focus RS, confirming that it was indeed reviving the rally sport badge and bringing it to the U.S. With 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque on tap, the new Focus RS is a true driver’s car and has made a huge splash in the hot hatch market – much more so than Focus RS models of the past. In early June, rumors began to surface that the Focus RS was about to be kicked out of the top-range spot by an even better version called the RS500. If that name sounds familiar, it should. It was used back in 2010 for a limited-production variant of a beefed-up Focus RS. At the time, the news was all speculation, but we’ve now received two sets of spy shots that prove Ford is in fact on a mission to one-up its Focus RS.

The model seen in our spy shots is, without a doubt, a beefier version of the current RS. Of course, details are rather scant, and these shots are coming in ahead of any official confirmation from Ford, but there’s no denying that the Blue Oval has something up its sleeve. The best part is that the model is near production ready, with the second round of spy shots showing minor alterations from the first as Ford fine tunes the body’s aerodynamic features.

With that said, let’s take a good look at these spy shots and talk about what we can expect when Ford officially unveils the model to dethrone the current Focus RS.

Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming Ford Focus RS500.

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Ford Rumored To Be Considering A Hotter Version Of The Focus RS

Ford Rumored To Be Considering A Hotter Version Of The Focus RS

Model will be called the Focus RS500

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.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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Mountune Launches Phase 1 Tuning Kit For Ford Focus RS

Mountune Launches Phase 1 Tuning Kit For Ford Focus RS

The Focus RS gets some aftermarket attention from Mountune

The new Ford Focus RS is a hot hatch that is sure spawn a wide offering of aftermarket performance offerings ranging from cold air intake systems all the way to more extensive engine and transmission upgrades. Only being around for a short time, model-specific aftermarket performance options are far and few between right now, but Mountune USA has finally released a decent list of upgrades known as Phase 1, which undoubtedly means there will be more to come.

Each piece of the Phase 1 tuning kit can be bought separately. The upgrade list starts out with a Mountune high-flow air filter and high-flow induction hoses that are priced at $59.00 and $69.00, respectively. Next on the list is the ultra-high-performance silicone boost hose kit that retails for $315. More in-depth bolt on parts include a roll restrictor for $159, which is basically a stiffer rear engine mount that cuts back on engine movement during launch, shifting, and heavy acceleration. There is also a quick-shift upgrade which replaces the standard shift arm on the transmission for $199.

There are two other options, which are a little more expensive. First on the list is the OZ Leggera wheels, which as you can see in the attached video, offer just enough clearance for those large RS calipers on the front axle. The wheels are 3.7 pounds lighter than the stock OE wheels, are ET45 offset, and are 19-inchs in size. The wheels are priced at $485, but that doesn’t include tires, which are sure to set you back at least that much, if not more. The big news in the Phase 1 tuning kit is the $1,099 Quaife ATB differential that helps maximize traction, minimize wheel spin and torque steer, and is maintenance free. Mountune USA hasn’t announced an installation kit for the differential, but for the Focus ST, the installation kit runs $124.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Ford Performance Gives An Inside Look At Its New Rallycross Car: Video

Ford Performance Gives An Inside Look At Its New Rallycross Car: Video

A quick tour around a race-prepped Focus RS

The latest season of the FIA World Rallycross Championship is upon us, and taking up the challenge is Gymkhana superstar Ken Block at the wheel of this brand-new Focus RS race car. Joining him is Andreas Bakkerud, a 24-year-old from Norway with back-to-back championship titles in the Super 1600 category (2011 and 2012). The duo recently debuted the fresh Ford in Montalegre, Portugal, but before the green, they had time to shoot this sub-three-minute peek at their new ride.

Ford Performance and M-Sport did the prep, and the specs are impressive – 600 horsepower and 663 pound-feet of torque from a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine. Mated to a Sadev six-speed gearbox and AWD system, 0-to-62 mph is done in about two seconds flat.

“To let go of the handbrake, pulling up the gears, it’s just a massive beast,” Bakkerud says.

“This is a bit different package as far as aero is concerned, because the last car that I had was actually designed for stage rally,” Block reveals. The team looked at the tracks and speeds they would face and specifically designed the carbon-fiber exterior “… to try and get the maximum grip that [they could] with the entire car.”

Block ended up struggling with a stuck throttle at the outset of the race, placing him at the back of the pack, but Bakkerud managed to finish fourth and take home vital points when it was all said and done.

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2017 Ford Focus ST280

2017 Ford Focus ST280

The Blue Oval is testing a new hot-hatch and we think it will be called the ST280

After many years of rumors and speculation, the Ford Focus RS returned for the 2016 model year with a Mustang-sourced engine under the hood and all-wheel drive. Back in showrooms after five years, the RS came to the U.S. with a whopping 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet to become the range-topping Focus model as well as the most powerful factory-built hatchback. With the lineup seemingly complete, the third-gen Focus looked set to carry on unchanged for a few years, but it appears that Ford has even bigger plans for the compact in the form of yet another performance oriented model.

Our trusty paparazzi recently spotted a Focus ST driving on the roads close to the Nurburgring track, but the performance-oriented hatchback isn’t exactly the standard ST model. The vehicle uses a revised aerodynamic body and since the company already received its mid-cycle facelift, it’s safe to assume that Ford is preparing a new version of the hatch, most likely a more powerful ST to bridge the gap between the standard ST and the top-line RS. With the two rated at 252 and 350 horsepower, respectively, there’s plenty of room for a sportier version of the former. And, with Ford having already launched the Fiesta ST200 to sit above the ST, there’s a good business case for a Focus with nearly 300 horses.

We have no idea when this new hatchback will break cover, but based on the fact that prototypes are already being tested, we should see it in the metal by the end of the year. The 2016 Paris Motor Show in October seems like the perfect event for such a car, but Ford could also opt to unveil it outside a major auto show. We also don’t know the name it will carry, but it should use the same naming scheme as the Fiesta ST200. Specifically, the ST will most likely be followed by the horsepower figure in PS. Our best guess is that it will be launched as the ST280.

We should find out more about this hatch in the upcoming months. Until then, have a closer look at our speculative review to find out what it could bring to the table.

Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming Ford Focus ST280.

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EVO Diaries Puts The 2016 Ford Focus RS In The Spotlight: Video

EVO Diaries Puts The 2016 Ford Focus RS In The Spotlight: Video

Is the hot hatch as good as advertised?

I’ve made it no secret that I am a big fan of the 2016 Ford Focus RS. I’m not the only one who thinks this way, and by and large, those who agree with my sentiments will tell you that the Focus RS is going to be one of the best hot hatchbacks on the market.

But what happens when you have somebody who isn’t drooling over the Focus RS and give him the keys to one for a test drive? You’ll get this new episode of EVO Diaries featuring Henty Catchpole.

I’ll be the first one say I was a little apprehensive watching this video because Catchpole is known for his opinions, which can veer in a number of different ways depending on how he feels about the car. I give him credit because he’s never been known to hold back when he feels that a car isn’t up to his standards.

I’m not going to spoil the things he said about the Focus RS in this episode because he makes some interesting points about the car that you can’t get unless you’re driving one yourself. What I can tell you is that after watching this episode of Evo Diaries, my love for the Focus RS remains unwavering.

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2016 Ford Focus RS - Driving Impressions

2016 Ford Focus RS - Driving Impressions

We can’t all be Ken Block. Heck, even Ken Block wouldn’t be Ken Block without the right set of wheels. That’s why Ford has built him all those custom rides. It won’t do the same for the rest of us, exactly, but after spending a couple of grin-inducing days with the new Focus RS in southern Spain, we’re convinced it’s the next best thing.

The name may say Focus, but don’t be fooled. The RS boasts roughly triple the base model’s punch, and nearly a hundred more horses than the Focus ST. It also packs a trick all-wheel drive system and an aggressive aero kit that cuts lift to zero at both ends. It’s meaner and more purposeful, and encompasses all manner of wizardry designed to make it go faster and put a bigger smile on your face.

Of course, it’s also more expensive: at $35,730, it costs roughly twice what a base Focus would, or over ten grand more than a Focus ST. Put another way, the Focus RS costs about the same as a Volkswagen Golf R or Subaru WRX STI – both of which boast similar specs, but with significantly less power. With all that in mind, and to find out in person just how Ford’s new pocket rocket performs, we headed to Valencia, Spain – which happens to be where Ford makes the engines for the Focus RS, but also offers some of the best driving roads (and one of the best tracks) we could ask for.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Autocar Takes The 2016 Ford Focus RS On Road And Track: Video

Autocar Takes The 2016 Ford Focus RS On Road And Track: Video

Vicky Parrott does awesome things on one of the best hot hatches in the market today

A lot has already been said about the all-new Ford Focus RS and almost everyone I’ve talked to about the car shares the same sentiment. The Focus RS is the hot hatchback we’ve all been waiting for. Now I know that some might find that statement sprinkled with a bit of hyperbole, but the truth is, there was no need for any form of exaggeration.

One person who agrees with my assertion is Autocar Deputy Reviews Editor Vicky Parrott. Not that she actually told me that she agreed with me, but she did get the opportunity to take the new Focus RS out for a spin on the proverbial road and track combination and as expected, she had nothing but heaping praises for the hot hatch. I’m not going to spoil the full episode because Parrott makes some great points in her review of the car and I wouldn’t want to pre-empt any of it. It’s better if you watch the episode in full yourselves.

In the event that you’re in the market for a hot hatch and you’re browsing through countless websites trying to figure out which one to buy, you should also watch this video and trust me when I tell you, once you’re done watching it, the Focus RS will be on your short-list. Why, you ask? Well, let’s just say that there’s a reason why a lot of people, Parrott included, are calling this hot hatch the new benchmark of its segment.

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A Quick Look At The 2016 Ford Focus RS's "Drift Mode" Feature: Video

A Quick Look At The 2016 Ford Focus RS’s "Drift Mode" Feature: Video

Smoke those wheels and perform power slides like a pro!

The 2016 Ford Focus RS is one of my favorite cars today. I even nominated it as one of my performance cars of the year for 2015. That’s how much I love the new Focus RS. I’ll admit that I have yet to get inside of one, but I’ve heard so many awesome things about it, not the least of which is a new feature in the car called “drift-mode”.

What the mode does is pretty self-explanatory, but the gist of it is that, in theory, drift mode allows even the most mild-mannered of drivers to perform smoking burnouts like they’re Ken Block. Pretty exciting, right? In this video, Autocar’s deputy reviews editor Vicky Parrott sat behind the wheel of the new Focus RS to test out the hot hatch’s new drift mode. Judging from the short clip that we can see, Parrott looked like an absolute pro performing those smoky power slides. Granted, Parrott knows her way in a car, but watching her leave those tire marks on the ground like a certified pro is making me that much more excited to get behind the wheel the of the new Focus RS and try its drift mode myself.

I don’t know how that’s going to turn out, but the thought of it is already getting me excited. Check out the video and see it for yourself. There’s a good chance that you’re going to feel the same way that I do.

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2016 Ford Focus Black & Red Editions

2016 Ford Focus Black & Red Editions

Automakers perform studies all of the time, normally to determine how consumers view a certain product or how consumers feel a product could improve. Ford, however, has commissioned a different study of the psychological type. In this case, the study was commissioned to help the company better understand the link between car color choice and personality. As one might expect, there is a huge difference when you break down the results based on gender.

Ford’s study determined that men who prefer red cars are generally more organized, while those who take to dark blue cars are more conservative. Men who like silver, well they easily remain calm under stress. When it comes to women, those colors mean practically nothing – showing few, if any, character traits. So now, you’re probably asking yourself just why we’re talking about personality and character traits, right? Well, there is a good reason.

During the study, it was found that black and red were in the top four color choices of men and women. It was found that combinations of these two colors appealed to those that are drawn to situations that get the adrenaline pumping, regardless of gender. With that information in hand, Ford put together a couple of two-tone schemes for the Ford Focus, dubbing the resulting cars the Focus Red Edition and Focus Black Edition. Keep reading to find out more about these two cars and what Ford did to make them worthy of special attention.

Continue reading to learn more abut the Ford Focus Black & Red Editions.

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2015 Ford Focus Hatchback – Driven

2015 Ford Focus Hatchback – Driven

The Ford Focus has been around since the turn of the millennium when the bug-eyed first generation car debuted in North America for the 2000 model year. Since then, the Focus has become one of the most popular C-segment vehicles in the country. Beyond our borders, the Focus has conquered nearly every land, becoming one of the best-selling nameplates in the automotive business. Needless to say, the Focus is a big seller for Ford.

As the 2015 model year approached, Ford gave the Focus, now in its third generation, a welcomed refresh. The new corporate grille and slimline headlights give the Focus a more aggressive appearance, while interior enhancements brought increases levels of comfort and upgraded technology. These updates replaced the Focus’ first global design. Before the 2011 model year, the Focus wore different bodywork between the U.S. and European markets.

So what’s the 2015 Focus all about? Well after spending a week behind the wheel of a five-door hatchback version powered by the 2.0-liter four-cylinder, it boils down to an economical, yet fun car that’s no penalty box to drive. Its upscale looks help it stand out, especially coated in this “Race Red” hue. Keep reading for more.

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Ford Plans Hardcore Version Of The Focus RS

Ford Plans Hardcore Version Of The Focus RS

As if the already smoldering Ford Focus RS isn’t hot enough, Ford Performance is considering going full blast on the high-performance hatchback with a limited edition model that’s going to break new ground for hot hatchbacks everywhere. According to Autocar, the Ford braintrust is paying close attention to the reactions of building such a model. If the company can justify building one, expect it to become the fastest-accelerating hatchback in history.

That’s incredible news for a Focus line whose latest RS iteration already packs 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. That’s more than any of its major competitors, including the new Civic Type-R, Volkswagen Golf R, and Subaru WRX STI.

As sexy as it sounds to see a more hardcore version of the Focus RS, it would take an enormous amount of resources to pull that off. That’s something Ford isn’t keen on doing. The more likely scenario would be for the company to take the route of shaving as much weight off of the car as it can to improve its power-to-weight ratio. Doing so would entail using methods like polycarbonate glazing and materials like carbon fiber-reinforced plastic to get the job done. If Ford can pull that off and strip off enough weight from the interior, it could shave off as much as 220 pounds off of the Focus RS’ weight. From there, Ford will likely turn its focus (no pun intended) on improving the drivetrain without completely changing the engine. That will supposedly involve adding a new electronically controlled limited-slip differential and introducing a dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

In the event that Ford does end up making one, expect the hardcore Focus RS to shoot for the stars and target the Mercedes-AMG A45 and the Audi RS3, the segment’s owners of the fastest 0-to-62-mph sprint with times of 4.2 and 4.3 seconds, respectively. The current Focus RS can do it in 4.7 seconds, so beating the A45 and the RS3 is going to be the company’s first and most important priority.

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2016 Ford Focus RS JDRF Raffle

2016 Ford Focus RS JDRF Raffle

Normally, when we talk about Ken Block here at Topspeed, we bring you another video of him doing what he does best in the Hoonicorn or his one-of-a-Kind Ford Fiesta. This time, however, it’s a completely different story – one that doesn’t even involve Gymkhana at all. Today we’re looking at a special 2016 Ford Focus RS that has been modified by Ken Block for a good cause.

This specific Ford Focus RS was modified by Block for one purpose – to be given away as a raffle prize. Proceeds from the raffle will go to Junior Diabetes Research Foundation International. JDRF, according to its webpage, is the leading global organization the funds research for Type 1 diabetes. Its sole mission is to accelerate breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications in hopes that one day we’ll live in a world without the disease.

The JDRF Focus RS isn’t extensively modified, but Ken Block has done a little something to make it special. With that said, let’s take a look at what modifications Block made before the car is raffled off.

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2016 Ford Focus Electric

2016 Ford Focus Electric

The battery-powered Ford Focus has been something of a dark horse in the burgeoning electric-vehicle market. It arrived on the scene in 2012 ahead of the Volkswagen eGolf and Kia Soul EV, but its low-key styling seems to have ensured that it’s stayed out of the alt-fuel spotlight. Even Ford’s hybrids and plug-in hybrids have maintained a higher profile. It’s like Ford just isn’t interested in the car.

The Focus Electric is a solid performer, though, and Ford seems intent on keeping up with the competition. Like the eGolf, it’s notable for maintaining the same entertaining performance and handling as the gasoline-powered version. This and other mainstream electric vehicles are notable because they’re the leading edge of a wave of evolution that’s normalizing electric cars. In the next few years, battery-powered cars are likely to be as casually owned and driven as hybrids are today. Cars like the relatively mundane Focus Electric, which receives a wider range of standard features and new colors for 2016, are making gasoline-free motoring more accessible.

The electric Focus received a price cut in 2014, and gets another for 2016, making it one of the most affordable mainstream electric cars. Whether it’s well-loved by its manufacturer or not, it is a player in the electric-car game.

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Ford Focus ST by Mountune

Ford Focus ST by Mountune

Formed in 1980 as an automotive engineering company specializing in preparing race-spec engines, Mountune has been updating Focus and Fiesta hatchbacks for European customers for quite a few years now. In 2013, the aftermarket tuning brand announced plans to set up shop in California to provide high-performance and racing parts for Ford vehicles here in the U.S. Two years have passed since then and 2015 Ford Focus ST owners now have access to a performance upgrade specifically developed for the hot-hatch.

While this is great news for owners looking to add more oomph to their Focus STs, Mountune claims that the new kit is not just about increasing performance. According to the company, the parts were designed for maximum reliability as well, which isn’t surprising considering Mountune’s experience in the racing world, where reliability is paramount.

“The 2015 Focus ST MP275 upgrade is the latest addition to Ford Performance’s vast Focus and Fiesta performance catalog that gives enthusiasts the components they need to take their car to the next level,” said Adam Gair, product manager at Ford Performance.

The upgrade is available now for 2015 model-year hatchbacks and joins the 2013/2014 Focus ST power kit in the company’s current offerings. And it’s more affordable than the previous bundle too!

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Ford Will Stop Building Focus And C-Max In Michigan Starting 2018

Ford Will Stop Building Focus And C-Max In Michigan Starting 2018

Ford has announced the end of Focus and C-Max production at the Michigan Assembly plant in 2018. The change coincides with a 2018 model-year redesign for both vehicles, suggesting that the next-gen Focus and C-Max will be built at another plant. Ford did not announce what vehicle might go into the plant to replace the Focus and C-Max.

With UAW talks scheduled to begin on July 23, it seems unlikely that Ford will shutter the factory and idle over 4,000 workers. The plant’s third shift has been cut, and some jobs have been trimmed, but the Michigan Assembly plant is also one of the few Ford plants that boasts excess capacity. Ford has also said that it has no plans to close the factory. Automotive News reports that this could be part of a plan to shift Fiesta production to Thailand and move all Focus production to Ford’s Cuautitlan, Mexico plant.

The 2015 Ford Focus is currently produced in nine plants worldwide, and sells over a million units annually worldwide. In North America, however, Focus and C-Max sales are down during the first half of 2015. Lower gas prices have been cutting into demand for small cars and hybrids, which is taking a bite out of sales.

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Ford Issues Safety Recall For Focus, C-Max And Escape

Ford Issues Safety Recall For Focus, C-Max And Escape

Ford Motor Company has just issued a recall of roughly 433,000 vehicles in North America, with affected vehicles including the 2015 Ford Focus, C-MAX and Escape. The recall concerns an issue with the listed vehicles’ “body control module,” wherein the engine could continue to run even after the ignition has been turned off and the key has been removed, or after pressing the engine’s start/stop button. 

Currently, Ford is not reporting any accidents or injuries associated with the issue. Customers can take their affected vehicles to a local dealer for a free software update to the faulty module.

The malfunction is non-compliant with FMVSS 114, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s standard regarding theft protection and rollaway prevention. 

Ford says that the recall encompasses 374,781 vehicles in the United States and federalized territories, 52,180 vehicles in Canada and 5,135 vehicles in Mexico.

The affected vehicles include certain 2015 Focus models built at the Michigan Assembly Plant between June 17th, 2014, and June 12th, 2015; certain 2015 C-MAX models built at the Michigan Assembly Plant between April 22nd, 2014, and June 12th, 2015; and certain 2015 Escape models built at the Louisville Assembly Plant between April 1st, 2014, and June 12th, 2015.

This latest recall is the second issued in less than a month for the Escape, with another recall issued only a few weeks ago over issues regarding faulty instrument clusters.

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