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.

  • 2016 Ford Focus RS RX By Hoonigan Racing
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    600
  • Torque @ RPM:
    663
  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    2 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    200 mph (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2016 Ford Focus RS RX By Hoonigan Racing High Resolution Exterior
- image 672850

Where do I even start with a Focus that looks this aggressive? Up front, you’ll spot the same headlights and front grille section – if you could even call it a grille. The center vent direction under that large plastic insert is taller compared to the standard RS, and the air dam below is actually a little shorter. The corner vents from the base model are wider now, thanks to the wide body kit, and are covered with black trim inserts. A flat lip wraps around the bottom of the fascia, giving the car a front ground clearance of about two inches at best.

A flat lip wraps around the bottom of the fascia, giving the car a front ground clearance of about two inches at best.

Moving to the sides, you can clearly see that the front fascia and the fenders are much wider than on the base RS. In all honesty, the front end is probably about 10 inches wider in comparison. More dominate side skirts have been applied to the bottom of the vehicle, which get significantly wider as you get closer to the rear wheel arch. Speaking of which, the rear wheel arches now protrude from the body in the same fashion as the front and feature a large vertical vent with an entrance in the front and an exit in the back – these may be used for additional radiators. The other big difference here is that the side view mirrors have been moved farther back on the door, and those 17-inch blue wheels.

Looking at the rear, we can see that those rear quarter vents have louvers inside the exit holes that will expel the air upward, most likely helping to increase downforce in the rear. The same rear fascia, taillights, and hatch carry over from the base RS, but there is a massive rear spoiler that is painted blue. The hatch also has a larger recessed area that features the “[HOONIGAN]” logo. Oddly enough, the same rear diffuser carries over from the base model, but as you can see from the images, there is only one exhaust pipe.

Physically the two RS RX models are identical, but Filipe Pantone designed a custom wrap for each one. They both feature identical Hoonigan logos and sponsor logos. Block’s RS RX is black and white with blue accents while Bakkerud’s RS RX is gray and black with blue accents. Trying to describe the patterns of each car is practically impossible outside of saying there are lots of zig zags. It’s a work of art really, and it’s almost a shame that the cars will get dirty running in the WRC this year.

Interior

The inside of these two WRC cars is still a pretty big mystery, at least to an extent anyway. We know that it features a single Recaro Pro-Racer Ultima driver’s seat that meets FIA-8862 specifications. Outside of that, we need to use our imaginations a little bit. Naturally most of the interior will be stripped to make way for an FIA approved roll cage, and there will be a Sadev Hydraulic handbrake system because, well, Hoonigan.

Expect all the other standard equipment normally found in WRC cars, including a five-point racing harness and a fire extinguisher, among other things. We will update you as soon as we see more of the interior, so stay tuned.

Drivetrain

2016 Ford Focus RS RX By Hoonigan Racing High Resolution Exterior
- image 672857
This 2.0-liter delivers an astounding 600 horsepower and 663 pound-feet of torque and, according to Ford, can hit a 60-mph sprint in just two seconds

If the livery on the RS RX cars designed for Block and Bakkerud didn’t blow your mind, the drivetrain of these monsters certainly will. The is a 2.0-liter Ford EcoBoost engine that was developed by Ford Performance and M-Sport lurking under the hood. This 2.0-liter delivers an astounding 600 horsepower and 663 pound-feet of torque and, according to Ford, can hit a 60-mph sprint in just two seconds. Go ahead and pick up your jaw – I’ll wait. To make all of this power, the engine has been equipped with a Garret Turbocharger that has a 45 mm restrictor and is control by a Cosworth Electronics engine management system. To keep things cool, the car is equipped with an optimized rallycross intercooler and radiator package.

That 600 horsepower, monster of an engine is mated to a Sadev six-speed sequential transmission that sends power to all four wheels. Each axle has a mechanical differential that is fully adjustable, and the transmission features a triple plate AP carbon clutch. The car rides on an SLA-type suspension system in the front and rear with three-way adjustable Reiger dampers. The wheels are eight inches wide, 17-inches in circumference, and are wrapped in WRX-spec AVON race tires. To bring this baby to a halt, there are four-piston calipers and 350 mm rotors behind each wheel.

For now, the only performance specs we know of is the 0-to-60 mph sprint time of two seconds. As far as top speed and other performance figures go, we’ve been left in the dark. Of course, this thing is meant for rally, so chances are it won’t be topping out anytime soon anyway.

Competition

2017 Volkswagen Polo R WRC

2017 Volkswagen Polo R WRC
- image 672497

This Polo was actually VW’s first WRC factory car since the 1990 Golf Rallye G60. It boasts a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 315 horsepower. Power is delivered to the wheels via a hydraulically activated, six-speed transmission. With paddle shifters, the Polo R WRC can hit the 60 mph print in 2.7 seconds. It has actually won three manufacturers’ titles since is 2013 debut, and looks to have its hands full with the new Focus RS RX now in the mix.

Read our full review on the 2017 Volkswagen Polo R WRC here.

Toyota Yaris WRC

2015 Toyota Yaris WRC High Resolution Exterior
- image 614659

Toyota dropped out of WRC some 18 years ago, but now the Japanese automaker is looking to step back into the game. To do so, it has created the Toyota Yaris WRC. Powered by an inline, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, this thing produces 300 horsepower and 309 pound-feet of torque. A 60-mph sprint should come in about 3.7 seconds, and top speed is somewhere in the 155 mph range. Needless to say, Toyota has some work to do if it wants to beat out the Focus RS RX.

Read our full review on the Toyota Yaris WRC here.

Conclusion

2016 Ford Focus RS RX By Hoonigan Racing High Resolution Exterior
- image 672854

Looking at the RS RX, it is like the Focus every Ford fan has ever dreamed of. I’m not specifically a Ford fan, but I’ve been a big fan of the RS since its debut. I would be a liar if I said I wouldn’t mind owning a Focus RS, but now that I’ve seen the RS RX, I think that’s the Focus I want. That wide body kit and the livery is just out of this world. And, let’s not forget the 600 horsepower and 663 pound-feet of torque – now that is what you call a hot hatch.

I guarantee that if Ford moved the RS RX into limited production, obviously with a friendlier, road-going interior, this thing would sell out quicker than Ford could build them. It looks like the rest of the teams have a lot of work to do this season if they are going to keep up with this monster, and I’m looking forward to seeing it debut for the first round this weekend.

Furthermore, I can’t wait to see Ken do Gymkhana 9. Just when you think the Focus RS can’t get any better, Ford and Hoonigan comes through surprises us yet again.

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    • * I can’t have one

Update History

Updated 06/09/2016: Ford Performance dropped the fourth episode of its "Project RX" documentary. This new episode highlights the the team’s first test of the vehicle, how Ken Block and Andreas Bakkerud’s liveries were placed, and the team’s expectations for the season. Hit "play" to watch it!

Updated 06/02/2016: Ford Performance dropped a new video showing the Focus RS RX in action into its third Final race in only four FIA World Rallycross Championship rounds with Andreas Bakkerud behind the wheel. Hit "play" to watch it!

Updated 05/30/2016: Ford dropped the third episode of its “Project RX” documentary, episode in which it take a look at the components and competitive details that make up the Ford Focus RS RX.. Hit "play" to watch it.

Updated 05/20/2016: Ford dropped a new video in which it recaps the challenges the RS RX had to face in the third round of the FIA World Rallycross this past weekend in Belgium. Hit "play" to watch it!

Updated 05/12/2016: Ford dropped the second episode of its “Project RX” documentary, episode in which it focuses on the craftsmanship and assembly of the new Focus RS RX race car. Hit "play" to watch it.

Updated 05/09/2016: Ford Performance dropped a new video featuring Ken Block and his brand new Focus RS RX at the first FIA World Rallycross podium appearance in Hockenheim, Germany during the 2016 FIA World Rallycross season’s second round. Hit "play" to watch it!

Updated 04/27/2016: Ford is creating a four-part documentary called “Project RX.” The documentary will highlight the design and development process shared between Ford Performance and a U.K.-based race shop called M-Sport when they were making the Focus RS RX. Ken Block and Andreas Bakkerud will be back in action on May 6th, but until then, enjoy the first episode of Project RX. Hit "play" to watch the video.

Updated 04/15/2016: The new Focus RS RX makes its competitive debut in the FIA World Rallycross Championship in Portugal on the weekend of April 16-17 and you can now watch a first public test conducted by Ken Block and Andreas Bakkerud in Lousada, Portugal. Hit "play" to watch the video.

Press Release

Known for his unique and distinct liveries, Hoonigan Racing Division’s Ken Block is pleased to launch the 2016 Hoonigan Racing by Felipe Pantone race liveries, a collaboration between Block, Hoonigan and kinetic street art artist Felipe Pantone. The first livery is for Block’s all-new Ford Focus RS RX rallycross car that he’ll be using to compete in the full 2016 season of the FIA World Rallycross Championship. And, since Block now has a teammate, Andreas Bakkerud, that means a second Focus RS RX also receives a unique livery by Felipe Pantone as well.

2016 Ford Focus RS RX By Hoonigan Racing High Resolution Exterior
- image 672851

“I’m really stoked that I was able to partner with Felipe Pantone on this,” said Block. “I’m a huge fan of Felipe’s work and I think it’s awesome that we were able to work together and have him create bespoke art in his signature style for us, that we were then able to translate to both new Ford Focus RS RX racecar, as well as on to Andreas’ car, but that also worked equally well for Hoonigan and my other partners on apparel and product.”

The Hoonigan Racing by Felipe Pantone project is the first time that Block and Hoonigan have partnered with an independent artist on a race livery. Felipe Pantone designed and created eight separate pieces of art over the course of eight days at the Hoonigan Donut Garage in Long Beach, California. The original artworks were laid down on canvas with spray paint before being translated into the digital files used on the car liveries. The partnership with the internationally known graffiti artist brings an exclusive style to both Block and Bakkerud’s cars, as well as to Hoonigan’s associated apparel that’s launching alongside them. A mix of geometric patterns, bold colors and intricate fades, all of Pantone’s artwork is designed to convey speed and motion; perfect for racecar liveries.

“It was really exciting to work on this project,” said Pantone. “My work talks about speed, technology, and the times we are living in, all of which are embodied by the Hoonigan team.”

To see Block and Bakkerud’s new Ford Focus RS RX rallycross cars in action with their Felipe Pantone liveries, be sure to tune in to round 1 of the FIA World Rallycross Championship, taking place this coming weekend in Montelegre, Portugal on Saturday April 16th and Sunday April 17th.

To view the entire Hoonigan by Felipe Pantone apparel line, be sure to check it out online at the Hoonigan web store: https://www.hoonigan.com/ken-block.html

2016 Ford Focus RS RX By Hoonigan Racing High Resolution Exterior
- image 672852

Additionally, more products featuring the collaborative artwork will be available from other partners of Block, including DC Shoes, Wolfgang Man & Beast and SAXX.

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