Cars Ford Ford Focus RS

2016 Ford Focus RS

2016 Ford Focus RS High Resolution Exterior
- image 620092
  • Ford Focus RS
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    350 @ 6000
  • Torque @ RPM:
    350 @ 3200
  • Displacement:
    2.3 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.7 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    165 mph
  • Price:
    35730 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Ford introduced the first ever Focus RS in 2002, reviving the RS (Rallye Sport) badge after having popularized it before with rally homologation specials like the Escort RS 1600 or the Escort RS Cosworth. Despite looking like a road-going version of the WRC model, the car was FWD and offered a little over 200 horsepower. Almost seven years later, another generation of the Focus RS arrived with an even more pronounced rally look and a Volvo-sourced five-cylinder with 305 horsepower sent to the front wheels. While torque-steer was kept to a minimum via a standard LSD from Quaife and a MacPherson front suspension strut called RevoKnuckle, the car was still far from offering WRC-like performance for the road.

Ford wants to change all that with the recently unveiled, third-generation Focus RS, as the model will be offered with an innovative all-wheel-drive system. Set to be manufactured at the same German plant as its predecessors, this will also be the first RS model to be sold around the world, including the U.S. With a Mustang-sourced, 2.3-liter, EcoBoost engine that has been engineered to deliver in excess of 300 horsepower, the all-new Focus RS seems to really up the ante for Ford in the performance-hatch category.

Update 07/13/2013: The Ford Focus RS is finally arriving at U.S. dealerships and is priced at $36,605 including destination and delivery charges. Hit "play" to see who was the first U.S. lucky owner of the RS.

Continue reading to learn more about the new Ford Focus RS.

147 photos / 24 videos

Latest Ford Focus_RS news and reviews:

2019 Ford Focus RS

2019 Ford Focus RS

Hybrid system and close to 400 horsepower?

First introduced in 2002, the Ford Focus RS was produced in very limited quantities during the first- and second-generation models. The third-gen car was launched in 2015 after many years of rumors with a Mustang engine under the hood and an all-wheel-drive system. Discontinued in 2018 just as Ford unveiled the fourth-generation Focus, the RS nameplate is likely to return sooner than before and with even more aggressive performance ratings. Although a production model has yet to be confirmed, Ford was already spotted testing a higher performance variant of the Focus in Europe. Whether it’s the ST or the RS remains unclear for now, but both nameplates are likely to return in dealerships soon.

But the big mystery here is not when the Focus RS will return, but what engine it will use. According to recent rumors, the next-generation Focus RS could become a hybrid. This would be a first for the nameplate and a big blow for the Volkswagen Golf R. There isn’t much info as to what it will have under the hood, but more details should become available as the Focus RS goes out testing. Stay tuned for updates and check out the speculative review below to find out what we already know about the hot hatchback.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford Focus RS.

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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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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 Next-Gen Focus RS Could Stick it to Mercedes-AMG and Audi with a 400-Horsepower Hybrid Drivetrain

The Next-Gen Focus RS Could Stick it to Mercedes-AMG and Audi with a 400-Horsepower Hybrid Drivetrain

We could see some serious power increases for the next-gen RS

The Ford RS brand has always held its own, but the latest Ford Focus RS was something of a masterpiece that proved Ford still had what it took to compete in the hot hatch segment. The Focus RS came late in the Focus’ life cycle though, and with a new Focus ready to debut sometime in the next week, it’s time to start talking about the new Focus RS – a model that’s slated to debut for 2020 and could deliver as much as 400 horsepower, if not more, thanks to a 48-volt mild hybrid system. The system in question will be showcased on the Focus RS before making its way into all of Fords mid- and large-sized vehicles. Forget that, though, 400 horsepower in the RS? Hell yes!

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Is The Next-Gen Ford Focus RS Going to Come With a Hybrid?

Is The Next-Gen Ford Focus RS Going to Come With a Hybrid?

Take this rumor with a grain of salt for the time being

The current Ford Focus RS is on schedule to leave us on April 6. When that day comes, we’ll be left with a Focus RS-sized hole in our lives. Ford has yet to confirm plans to build a new version that will be based on the next-generation Focus, but there are already rumors that it’s going to happen at some point in the future. More importantly, the same rumors suggest that the next-gen Focus RS is going to come with a hybrid system.

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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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Ford Finally Announces Fix for the Coolant-Burning Focus RS

Ford Finally Announces Fix for the Coolant-Burning Focus RS

Focus RS owners can now breathe a sigh of relief

Ford is finally fessing up to the coolant-burning problem found in certain early models of the Ford Focus RS. More importantly, the Blue Oval is taking measures to address the issue with a recall announcement that involves fixing the faulty head gaskets no cost to owners.

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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 RS by Rally Innovations

2017 Ford Focus RS by Rally Innovations

This is one Focus RS you don’t want to meet in the desert

“Subtlety” is not one of the first words you think of when talking about the SEMA Auto Show. Proving as much is Ford, which is headed to the annual aftermarket show in Las Vegas with a series of specially modified Focus hot hatches. We’ve already seen the Blue Oval’s collaborations with Bloody Type Racing, VMP Performance, and a triple-team effort from Universal Technical Institute, Tjin Edition, and Pennzoil. Now, it’s Rally Innovations’ turn in the spotlight, and the rally racing tuner is bringing with it a heavily tuned Ford Focus RS that now looks like its ready to throw down in Baja or Dakar.

The project car officially goes by the name “Ford Focus RS Rally Revival,” and if there’s one thing that passes the proverbial eye test, it’s that this hot hatch looks ready to go flying in some sand dunes. It’s arguably the Focus hatch that underwent the heaviest and most significant of modifications among the four that are headed to SEMA. Given the new purpose it was given as a full-fledged rally marauder, it’s not far-fetched to think that the Focus RS Rally Revival can go throw down with the best rally cars. That’s the depth of Rally Innovations’ program for the Focus RS. It may sit at SEMA looking all peaceful and contained, but rest assured, there’s a beast lying underneath that modified body, and it’s one that’s itching to get uncaged.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Ford Focus RS by Rally Innovations

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2017 Ford Focus RS “TriAthlete” by VMP Performance

2017 Ford Focus RS “TriAthlete” by VMP Performance

Carbon-fiber bonanza and enhanced performance

The latest Ford Focus RS was unveiled for the 2016 model year and gave the hot-hatch term new meaning through its aggressive exterior, race-prepped cabin, and surprisingly powerful drivetrain. Rated at 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, the Focus RS is significantly more powerful than anything else in this niche, including the much-praised Volkswagen Golf R. To put things into perspective, the Focus RS is quicker and more powerful than he awesome Porsche 718 Cayman. At the same time, it’s only marginally less powerful than the base Porsche 911, but around two tenths quicker from 0 to 60 mph. But while the Focus RS is arguably the most exciting hatchback you can buy nowadays, there are quite a few tuning companies that find a way to make it even better. VMP Performance is one of them, and its version of the Focus RS was just unveiled ahead of the 2017 SEMA Show.

Dubbed "TriAthlete," because it can "smoke the competition in true Olympic triathlete style" at the drag strip, the road course, and on twisty backroads, this souped-up Focus RS boasts upgrades in just about any department. Fitted with parts from Ford Performance, CoBB Tuning, and Anderson Composites, among others, the "TriAthlete" is a more aggressive proposition inside and out, while its drivetrain is a significant departure from the standard 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine. Some details are still under wraps, but until Ford spills the beans at the SEMA Show, let’s take a closer look at what we already know about this exotic concept car.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford Focus RS “TriAthlete.”

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2017 Ford Focus RS By Universal Technical Institute, Tjin Edition, and Pennzoil

2017 Ford Focus RS By Universal Technical Institute, Tjin Edition, and Pennzoil

Custom project on performance hatch gets a steady dose of upgrades

The SEMA Auto Show is just around the corner. That means a number of different things for a number of different automakers, specifically the Toyotas, Ford, and Hondas of the world. The Blue Oval is a regular presence at SEMA, and this year’s no different, as the company is planning to unleash as many as 50 different custom projects at the event. One of those projects is this Ford Focus RS, which comes to us by way of Universal Technical Institute, Tjin Edition, and Pennzoil.

It’s hard to escape the long name of the custom Focus RS because of the companies involved in its creation. What’s really cool about this project though is that it doesn’t straddle the line between realistic and overbearing. It just sits on the lawn of “realistic” comfortably, and that itself may be it’s biggest strength because Focus RS owners won’t have to worry about others thinking they’d lost their minds on a gaudy custom project. That’s not to say that it’s lacking in kits because it has its fair share of them. They’re just subtle enough that the identity of the Focus RS is still intact, as opposed to getting drowned by some overbearing custom work that’s too difficult to even stomach.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Ford Focus RS by Universal Technical Institute, Tjin Edition, and Pennzoil

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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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Motor1 UK Pits 2018 Civic Type R Against 2017 Ford Focus RS: Video

Motor1 UK Pits 2018 Civic Type R Against 2017 Ford Focus RS: Video

… and the comparisons begin!

If you’re anything like us, then you’ve been chomping at the bit waiting for this test – the two kings of the hot hatch segment, once relegated to overseas markets and grainy YouTube videos, are finally, mercifully heading to stateside dealers. Naturally, buyers looking to get behind the wheel of one of these machines will wanna know how it stacks up against the other, and luckily, the comparisons are starting to roll in. One of the first of these comes from our U.K. friends over at Motor1, who got the two hatchbacks together for an on-road shakedown test. Which five-door superstar will come out on top?

Over the course of the 14-minute video, hosts Jon Quirk and Alex Goy take the two hatchbacks for a spin on winding public blacktop, blasting through two-lane backroads as they dissect the various pros and cons of each. Performance specs and what it feels like to pilot each of the cars is of course a major topic of discussion, but so is the daily driveability, infotainment, interior quality, comfort, and even styling, with all those real world attributes weighed evenly against the all-important track-oriented stuff. In the end, only one car walks away the winner.

Continue reading for 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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2016 Ford Focus RS

2016 Ford Focus RS

Ford introduced the first ever Focus RS in 2002, reviving the RS (Rallye Sport) badge after having popularized it before with rally homologation specials like the Escort RS 1600 or the Escort RS Cosworth. Despite looking like a road-going version of the WRC model, the car was FWD and offered a little over 200 horsepower. Almost seven years later, another generation of the Focus RS arrived with an even more pronounced rally look and a Volvo-sourced five-cylinder with 305 horsepower sent to the front wheels. While torque-steer was kept to a minimum via a standard LSD from Quaife and a MacPherson front suspension strut called RevoKnuckle, the car was still far from offering WRC-like performance for the road.

Ford wants to change all that with the recently unveiled, third-generation Focus RS, as the model will be offered with an innovative all-wheel-drive system. Set to be manufactured at the same German plant as its predecessors, this will also be the first RS model to be sold around the world, including the U.S. With a Mustang-sourced, 2.3-liter, EcoBoost engine that has been engineered to deliver in excess of 300 horsepower, the all-new Focus RS seems to really up the ante for Ford in the performance-hatch category.

Update 07/13/2013: The Ford Focus RS is finally arriving at U.S. dealerships and is priced at $36,605 including destination and delivery charges. Hit "play" to see who was the first U.S. lucky owner of the RS.

Continue reading to learn more about the new Ford Focus RS.

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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 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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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.

Keep reading for the rest of the story

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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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Ken Block Teases Arrival Of Gymkhana NINE: Video

Ken Block Teases Arrival Of Gymkhana NINE: Video

Film officially debuts on Tuesday, September 13

Ken Block is back, ladies and gentlemen. Okay, he never really left, but his famous video series “Gymkhana” is set to make its dramatic return on September 13, 2016. The confirmation came from Block’s very own Instagram account where posted a short teaser on what everyone can expect from Gymkhana NINE.

The video doesn’t show any particular scene-stealing details, but we do know that there will be a couple of changes to the new film, including the new Ford Focus RS RX that’s making its own debut in the Gymkhana series. Like its predecessors, the Focus RS RX is a rally-spec racer that Block will be using in the World Rallycross. For now though, it’s conquering the a rail yard in New York with some of the sickest drifting runs and stunts in the long history of the Gymkhana series.

Expect Gymkhana NINE to build off of the insanity of its predecessors and for Block to once again showcase his otherworldly racing and drifting skills. Mark the dates, everyone. Next Tuesday, September 13. Gymkhana NINE officially goes live!

But for now, treat yourselves to this teaser video from the man himself. Watching it should get your juices your pumping.

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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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Focus RS Drift Mode Created By Accident And We're All Better For It

Focus RS Drift Mode Created By Accident And We’re All Better For It

Glorious sideways action for the masses reveals dangerous double standard

Accidents aren’t always bad. In 1928, Alexander Fleming accidently discovered penicillin after a petri dish was left exposed near an open window. And while the new Ford Focus RS probably won’t be wiping out any deadly, civilization-threatening bacteria any time soon, it will be fun as hell to play around with, especially with the ass-out AWD antics of Drift Mode activated – a feature that was apparently just an accident.

In a recent report from Australian publication Motoring, Tyrone Johnson, vehicle and engineering manager at Ford Performance, revealed that the crossed-up handling setting was originally discovered during the development of the RS’ AWD system, and was not part of the hot hatch’s original design plan.

Johnson said that it all started with a test session conducted by two engineers, one behind the wheel, the other in the passenger seat tweaking the AWD with a laptop.

“And they are talking and he says ‘oh let me try this out’ and he tries it and he says ‘oh that’s cool can you give me more of that’ and he gives him more and he says ‘that’s really cool’ and then it starts working,” Johnson said. “I guess it’s just because we are a bunch of crazy guys. We just do things.”

After exhibiting the benefits of Drift Mode to global technical and development chief Raj Nair, the feature was officially slated for production.

Ford says Drift Mode is not for use on public roads, but that hasn’t stopped safety groups from voicing their outrage at its inclusion on the new Focus RS. Some have even demanded that it be outlawed.

Unsurprisingly, we here at TopSpeed think the controversy is simply ridiculous. What’s more, it reveals an equally absurd (and potentially dangerous) double standard.

Read on for our defense of Drift Mode.

Continue reading for our take on Drift Mode.

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Scheduled Factory Shutdown Has Again Delayed Deliveries Of This Popular Hot Hatch

Scheduled Factory Shutdown Has Again Delayed Deliveries Of This Popular Hot Hatch

Ford’s production facility is in the middle of a maintenance shutdown, will reopen on August 25

At this point, everyone seems to be on board with the belief that Ford struck gold with the Focus RS. The hot hatch is so in demand that Ford has had to delay deliveries or cancel orders altogether just so the hot hatch’s production can keep up with the demand for the car. The most recent development apparently involves Ford having to delay a number of orders for the 2016 Focus RS because the firm’s production facility in German couldn’t keep up with the demand before its scheduled summer factory maintenance shutdown.

According to The Truth About Cars, roughly 220 orders of the 2016 Focus RS have been cancelled and would be moved into the 2017MY with priorities being placed on those who would have to wait a little longer to get their hands on the hot hatch. It’s also interesting to note that a Los Angeles-based dealership that had three of its pending Focus RS orders cancelled were told that the delay in production was tied into issues in Europe that included the company’s plant in Germany, which isn’t scheduled to reopen until August 25, 2016.

A lot of people, specifically those who had their orders cancelled or delayed, are understandably peeved at having to wait longer to take delivery of their cars. That’s the downside of this delay. The silver lining is the hot hatch’s incredible popularity and the staggering public demand for the car is a sign that Ford did something right with the Focus RS. If for nothing else, the Blue Oval can take comfort knowing that the delay is happening largely because there are too many people who want to buy the Focus RS and there’s just not enough space and resources to accommodate them in time for a summer release.

Only time will tell if this delay stretches out longer than anticipated.

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EVO Pits The Ford Focus RS Against The Volkswagen Golf R In A Hot Hatch Drag Race: Video

EVO Pits The Ford Focus RS Against The Volkswagen Golf R In A Hot Hatch Drag Race: Video

The American pocket rocket takes on the German scuttlebug

The Volkswagen Golf R and the Ford Focus RS present an interesting conundrum for those looking for a hot hatch worth its salt. Both models can arguably claim to being the best of the lot and both make valid points for doing so. On paper, the Focus RS has the edge. It’s got almost 50 horsepower and 67 pound-feet of torque over the Golf R. It also has a smoother gear transition, particularly on the lower gears, making it easier for the Focus RS to get off the block quicker than the VW rival. On the flip side, the Golf R is around 80 pounds lighter than the Ford and that lighter weight makes up for some of the VW’s perceived shortcomings.

And so, when it comes to figuring out which of the two is better, there are some ways to do it, including having both the Golf and Focus RS line up side-by-side for good ‘ol fashion drag race. EVO took the task of doing just that by setting up a race between the two pocket rockets. As expected, the Focus RS shot off the line much quicker than the Golf R, quickly establishing a 0.5-second gap in the race to 60 mph. But just as quickly, the Golf R comes roaring back and by the time the two cars hit the quarter-mile, the Focus RS’s lead drops to just 0.2 seconds, the same difference between the two cars when they both hit the half-mile.

In the end, the Focus RS nudges past the Golf R in the race to 130 mph, beating the Volkswagen by 0.6 seconds. For a car that supposedly has close to 50 horsepower on the other, that’s not much of a difference. All this points to one undeniable truth: both the Volkswagen Golf R and the Ford Focus RS are worthy contenders to the title of the best hot hatch in the market.

And since the Focus RS is finally headed to the U.S., it’s now important to look at the price comparison between the two. Not surprisingly, it’s almost dead even too as the Volkswagen Golf R retails for $36,595 compared to the Focus RS’s starting price of $36,605. That’s a $10 difference, by the way.

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Is Ford Holding Someone's Focus RS For Ransom? Maybe....

Is Ford Holding Someone’s Focus RS For Ransom? Maybe....

How he hell do you lose a car?

Okay, so Ford probably isn’t holding someone’s Focus RS for ransom, but there is definitely something sketchy going on. As reported on Medium by anxious RS owner (who doesn’t have possession,) Kevin Flynn, he ordered his Ford Focus on October 12, 2015, and was actually one of the first to place an order. He was hoping to receive one of the first five RS models to hit the West Coast, but it has become painfully obvious that isn’t the case.

According to Flynn, two anonymous Ford employees were relaying information to those awaiting their cars through forum posts on FocusRS.org, like this post claiming that new production had been halted. Flynn’s story goes on to say that these Ford employees had told him when his car started and ended production and even posted an image of several RS models on a boat waiting to leave the dock. However, the employees have since been silent after Ford allegedly told them to “cease all information exchange.”

The last Flynn has reportedly heard, his car was in the U.S., sitting at the docks, but the trail goes cold after that. His dealer doesn’t know what is going on and Ford keeps giving him the runaround. Keep reading to see the reply that Flynn got directly from Ford.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Matt LeBlanc Has A New Ride And It's Smoking Tires Hot

Matt LeBlanc Has A New Ride And It’s Smoking Tires Hot

The new lead host of Top Gear has just bought his very own Ford Focus RS

Despite all the mess that Top Gear found itself in during the ill-fated season-that-just-finished, Matt LeBlanc’s performance as Chris Evans’ co-host was one of the show’s few bright spots. For a man who was once known for his preference in being driven than him doing the actual driving, LeBlanc’s time at Top Gear seems to have satiated his appetite for performance cars, a belief that has been reinforced by a recent photo of the actor-turned-motoring-show-host showing off his new Ford Focus RS.

The photo of LeBlanc looking like a proud new dad to his Focus RS was actually uploaded by Ken Block, who complemented LeBlanc’s choice for a new ride in the most Ken Block way imaginable. Yep, as if the fact that LeBlanc is the new owner of the fantastic Focus RS isn’t interesting enough, Block had to point out the Focus RS’s Hooligan-themed license plate case in what could arguably be one of the most obvious celebrity plugs on Instagram right now.

Be that as it may, LeBlanc’s choice of a Ford Focus RS to be his new ride is an exciting one, especially when you let your imaginations run loose on the things that the former Friends actor is capable of doing on a rather interesting car that belies its incredible power and performance capabilities.

For those who need a refresher, LeBlanc’s new Ford Focus RS comes packed with a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that packs an impressive 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. It may not be the fastest and most powerful car that’s available on the market, but for what it’s worth, the Focus RS is arguably one of the most exciting ones to drive, something that LeBlanc appears to be all too excited to find out.

Continue after the jump to read the full 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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Auto Express Lines Up The Ford Focus RS Against The Audi RS3 And The Volkswagen Golf R: Video

Auto Express Lines Up The Ford Focus RS Against The Audi RS3 And The Volkswagen Golf R: Video

Who’s the new king of the hot hatch market?

The 2016 Ford Focus RS is already being hailed as one of Ford’s most impressive cars in recent years. Surely, the hype has been real for a lot of people, including yours truly. But, has the Focus RS really ascended to the top of the hot hatch pound-for-pound rankings? It’s a fair question to ask considering that there are other hot hatches that can make a case for that (mythical) title.

Auto Express sought to answer that question by lining up the Focus RS against two of its German counterparts, namely the Audi RS3 and the Volkswagen Golf R. Both the RS3 and the Golf R have their own claims compared to the Focus RS. The Audi, for instance, has more power than the Ford whereas the VW has less power, but is also cheaper than the Focus RS.

Each model also offers its own line of benefits that its two rivals don’t have. But even when you use the tale of the tape, differentiating one from the other two really boils down to what a customer wants in his hot hatch. All three are great options and offer, in their own way, a sporty experience in a practical package. That is, after all, the essence of what a hot hatchback is supposed to be.

So which one did Auto Express pick from the three? No spoilers here, so you better watch the video to find out the verdict. I can tell you that picking among these three cars is harder than it looks.

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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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Ford Wishes You Merry Christmas With Snowkhana 4: Video

Ford Wishes You Merry Christmas With Snowkhana 4: Video

Starting with 2012, Ford Europe has released a fun little Snowkhana video around Christmas time each year. Over the years, certain characters like the Abominable Snow Monster and even Buzz Lightyear have made appearances in the video – at some points, being terrorized by Mental Block in the 2012 Ford Fiesta. This year, you’ll see the cameo appearances of the monster again, and Buzz apparently likes riding the Coke trucks like skates because he’s back again, but there is a little more to it.

The coolest part about the video this year, however, is that Santa himself takes to the winter wonderland with his blue Ford Focus RS. The jolly old man even has a run-in with the boys as he drifts around his snowy, Wonderland track. So, why not have a little holiday spirit and check out Snowkhana 4? It’s certainly fun to watch.

I won’t ruin the video for you, there are so many characters, that you have to watch it for yourself. It sure does remind me of my younger years, though. There was nothing better than taking to the streets and drifting in the first big snowfall each year. It takes a lot of delicate maneuvering to drift in the snow without bouncing off of anything, but that is what makes it so fun – plus it’s a lot better than burning off a set of tires every weekend. That said, hit play and watch Santa cause some turmoil in preparation for his big trip around the world. Ho Ho Hokhana!

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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.

Continue reading for the full story.

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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.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford Focus RS JDRF Raffle.

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2016 Ford Focus RS Forza Motorsport Edition

2016 Ford Focus RS Forza Motorsport Edition

The third-generation 2016 Ford Focus RS arrived with a bang at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, as the first RS to feature all-wheel-drive, torque vectoring, and a Mustang-sourced engine. Now, Ford has unveiled the Focus RS Forza Motorsport Edition, a hot-hatch featuring an exterior designed by players of the Forza Motorsport racing game.

Though its name suggests a special-edition series, the Forza Motorsport Edition is actually a one-off model showcased at a special Microsoft event ahead of the 2015 Gamescom in Cologne, Germany. The unique hot-hatch was introduced by The Stig from BBC’s Top Gear, who will also be featured in the new Forza Motorsport 6.

The new Focus RS is one of the many Fords to be featured in Forza Motorsport 6. Others include the 2016 Ford GT, 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang and 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor.

"In Forza Motorsport 6, racing and gaming enthusiasts all over the world will be the first to experience Ford’s new ultra-high-performance supercar, the Ford GT,” said Dan Greenawalt, creative director at Turn 10 Studios. "In Cologne we’re excited to showcase the real all-new Focus RS clad in a special paint scheme created by the Forza community. During Gamescom, gamers will also get to see the Forza Motorsport 6 cover-car Ford GT in person," he added.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford Focus RS Forza Motorsport Edition.

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Ken Block Drives The Ford Focus RS At Goodwood: Video

Ken Block Drives The Ford Focus RS At Goodwood: Video

Even though the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed was packed with plenty of modern supercars and classic racers,there’s at least one hatchback visitors were anxious to see. I’m talking about the 2016 Ford Focus RS, the 345-horsepower hot-hatch that outguns everything in its class but the wild 2015 Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG and 2015 Audi RS3. With that much power under its belt, an AWD system that can send up to 70 percent of the engine’s torque to the rear axle, and an aggressive body kit, the Focus RS was one of the most anticipated appearances at this year’s Festival of Speed.

And Ford left no one disappointed, sending the hot-hatch up the famous hill with Ken Block behind the steering wheel. Sure, there’s wasn’t much drifting except for a quick slide in the first turn, but the sound of the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine at full throttle was spellbinding to say the least.

If one minute of action up Goodwood’s hill isn’t enough though, you’ll have to wait a few more months until the Focus RS arrives at a dealership near you, as the hatch isn’t scheduled to reach its first owners until early 2016.

As a brief reminder, Ford’s 345-horsepower and 324-pound-feet five-door uses the Mustang’s 2.3-liter turbo-four and a new AWD system with dynamic torque vectoring, launch control, and selectable drive modes. It also comes with a Drift Mode, which those of you looking to play Ken Block (on an enclosed track, of course) should find very entertaining.

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