Ford have unveiled many iconic models over the years. Some of them sport the “RS” badge, such as the Escort RS Cosworth. In recent years, the Focus RS offered performance motoring in the form of a “hot hatch.”
Building on that success, Ford have unveiled their plans to sell a new Focus RS model based on the current generation model. So, what is it about this exciting new model that has got the motoring world drooling? Keep reading to find out!
Third-generation hot hatch
The Ford Focus is a car that offers plenty of uses. Practical motoring for growing families is standard. As is comfort and technology are what drivers and passengers will receive as standard in the latest generation.
Ford says the third-generation Focus offers the ideal platform with which to create a new RS model. It will be the 30th model to wear the “RS” badge with pride and honour.
Full details of the new Ford Focus RS will get unveiled at the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show. But I can reveal to you some information that Ford have shared with the motoring press. Those details are as follows:
Engine specifications and performance
The all-new Ford Focus RS comes with a tuned 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine as standard. The car maker claims that it will produce more than 320 PS. That translates to around 316 brake horsepower.
If you’re a fan of the previous Focus RS, you will know that this new engine offers an extra 105 PS or 104 brake horsepower.
The EcoBoost engine is made of aluminium and has a low-inertia twin-scroll turbocharger. They say the “compressor” is larger to accommodate more air flow. As you know, the more air you can get into a combustion engine, the better it performs.
Ford engineers have spent 1000s of hours tuning the engine to a level that offers the most power within safe operating limits. For instance, the radiator and cooling system is bigger than the previous Focus RS model. That’s so it can cope with the extra demand placed on the engine.
The engine they have used is based on the one used in the new 2015 Ford Mustang model. In the Focus RS, the unit can get revved up to 6,800 rpm.
Ford says that the Focus RS is part of a lineup of high-performance cars it expects to bring to market by 2020.
If you want to go out and buy a new Ford Focus RS from the www.gkgroup.co.uk website, you’re out of luck. The word on the street is that the new model won’t get on sale until some point in 2016!
One new feature that the third-generation Focus RS will have is all-wheel drive! Something not seen in previous models, the system is a result of years of development. In fact, Ford’s Performance team started working on it just after they signed off the mk2 model in 2007!
The way that it works is quite innovative. It comprises of two “clutch packs” controlled by complex electronics. Each of those clutch packs gets fitted to the rear drive wheels. With those packs in place, it’s possible for the car to manage a front and rear torque split. You might have seen this feature in other vehicles. It’s called torque vectoring.
So complex is the system that it has to calculate what happens approximately one hundred times per second! Up to 70% of the torque from the engine can get diverted to the rear wheels. And up to 100% of that torque can get sent to each individual wheel if necessary.
AWD is a system welcomed by motoring enthusiasts passionate about Ford’s high-performance Focus RS. It helps this powerful beast go around corners at speed without something bad happening!
So, we’ve talked about the new all-wheel drive system and its benefits to the mk3 Ford Focus RS. But what’s the car like to drive on the road and the track? Few people have had the opportunity to test the car out to its limits.
You can get a sneak peak at what it looks like to drive by checking out the amazing promo video featuring none other than Ken Block! But we do have some information on the handling from a technical perspective.
As standard, the new Ford Focus RS comes with sports suspension, which the American car maker say is stiffer than on the Focus ST. You also get the choice of switching between two dampening modes, the second being a firmer setting for track use. Ford say the power steering system also got tweaked to work well with the new setup.
The car sits on 19-inch lightweight “RS” alloy wheels with 235/35/19 tyres. Ford worked with Michelin to come up with the right tyres for the job. When you buy a new Ford Focus RS, you can choose from one of two sets of tyres.
The first are Michelin Pilot Super Sport for everyday road use. You get these tyres as standard. And the second, and optional, tyres are the enhanced Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s. Some new owners may wish to buy an extra set of wheels with the Sport Cup tyres fitted to them. That’s because it’s quicker to swap wheels than fit new tyres!
One thing that no-one will fail to miss is that the mk3 Focus RS has a wealth of technology! Safety was a priority when designing this powerful hot hatch. New owners can use Bi-Xenon HID (high-intensity discharge) headlights at night. Or in low lighting conditions.
As an optional extra, a useful safety feature is the Active City Stop system. In a nutshell, if you get too close to the car in front, the RS will brake for you to avoid a collision.
The Ford SYNC infotainment system comes as standard on the Focus RS. It has an eight-inch touchscreen display and ten-speaker audio system with Bluetooth. More details on the technology included will get revealed by Ford in due course.