• Jan 21, 2009
Click above for a high-res image gallery of the Ford Focus RS

Ford reconnected this week in earnest with the 38 year history of its RS badge when the first production Focus RS rolled off the assembly line in Germany. The 300 horsepower front-drive hot hatch is being built at Ford's Saarlouis plant, alongside the rest of the European-spec Focus line-up, but with the performance bits (including a trick differential) installed by a dedicated team of technicians.

The Focus RS is the most extreme performance version of the company's staple hatchback, taking the Focus ST we drove in Belgium as its point of departure, and then dialing it up to 11. Unfortunately, while 20 European countries are slated to receive the Focus RS when it hits the market in April, it isn't slated to reach the American market; at least not in its current incarnation. But with Ford's new focus (sorry) on integrating its products globally – including the merger of the European (TeamRS) and American (SVT) performance engineering divisions – maybe, just maybe, we could see an RS version of the next Focus Stateside.


[Source: Motor Authority]


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  • 48 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Is this coming to Mexico???
      • 6 Years Ago
      When you consider the weight, and therefore the gas mileage penalty of AWD, I think FWD with Ford's trick diff is the way to go. For dry pavement driving, the weight saved is worth the extra 11/10ths grip lost, and personally, I'm not going to risk ramming the ARMCO (or more likely in California, going over the edge) by driving 10/10ths in wet weather.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hey Peter, I'm a San Franciscan as well and also named Peter.....

        The SVT is honestly a better car then this in my opinion!! It is much more balanced in the fact it handles its power very well. I mean with an LSD, and this trick axle system they have to help eliminate wheel hop and an extra, 30-40hp, the SVT would be PERFECT.

        I just dont believe a 300hp FWD street car is generally fun..Ive driven a couple of high power n/a Hondas and then some high power turbo FWD cars.. The torque produced by the turbo cars just makes it very easy to overpower the front tires on corner exit! The Hondas you could make this happen but you had to try a lot harder since their power is more spread out and linear then a "punch" of torque.

        I have a very boring Subaru Forester (atleast its manual...) but I can do power understeer in that but its slightly more difficult. An rx7 I had would power understeer if you braked too late then applied the throttle early trying to save it.

        The fact this has a heavy 5 cyl in the front also hurts quite a bit... Its weight balance is particularly far forward. I know your car has an Iron block but its still a relatively light motor compared to a dang 5 cylinder then turbo then intercooler etc..

        floor that car in any turn and you are going straight
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree. FWD is as great way to go. The Integra, previous Focus ST, Dodge SRT-4, Mazdaspeed3 and Cobalt SS have shown this. I just don't see why I'm supposed to freak out over a car that is more expensive and not going to be here. If it is faster around a track than a Cobalt SS, I'll be surprised.

        Peter:
        Torque steer is avoided because the car is torque limited in low gears. The Mazdaspeed3 is also. I'm not sure the Cobalt SS is, but it wouldn't at all surprise me. If it isn't, then you'll know when the wheel shows massive torque steer.

        Catching motorcycles in the corners is no trick. Cars have more rubber and so corner better. You could do this even with a car with less power and tons of understeer. You could do it with no motor at all assuming someone gave you a push on the straights.

        If by power-on oversteer, you mean power-on understeer, you are sorely mistaken. Power will overcome the grip limit on FWD cars in corners, period. The only solution is to not put push the pedal so far. A trick diff can distribute the power where it wants between the front wheels and they'll still overload because you need the grip to corner too.

        I'm not saying this won't be a good car. But the only way this will show any better performance than a 261HP FWD car is by adding a lot more rubber up front. It does not appear to have done so.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Dont worry, now you can just power on understeer terribly instead even at mediocre speeds
        • 6 Years Ago
        Isn't that what I and the other poster just got done saying?

        Cars corner faster. Yes, bikes accelerate faster.

        I was not referring to accelleration, hence my comments that the engine doesn't matter one bit.
        • 6 Years Ago
        pmiddle5 -
        Have you ever driven even a base level Focus? I drive an SVT version and find it very controllable. The chassis is very stiff, and the handling is very predictable and responsive. Torque steer isn't even noticeable unless I've got the throttle floored up a steep hill (I live in San Francisco). One of my favorite activities is chasing motorcycles on Skyline Drive south of SF, and although they can usually out-accelerate me, I hang with them in the corners pretty well.
        Presuming that Ford has made some progress in power delivery and handling in the last eight years, power oversteer shouldn't be a problem.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I am not sure what motorcyclists you are following, but I have been chased by many machines over many an Appalachian back road and nothing ever got close to me on my sportbikes. A properly driven car will have more early and mid corner speed, but everywhere else it is no contest. I especially love it when the road drops out and the chasing car bashes itself to bits when it bottoms :). I am glad I survived those days and I ride a 400cc Supermoto since I have become old and wise. More to the point, I do like the Focus RS very much. I would have bought the SVT Focus a few years back, but the dealership thought I was a fool and I ended up going elsewhere.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ford needs to produce a modern day interpretation of the Ford (Lotus powered) Cortina, RWD.
      • 6 Years Ago
      That blue is gorgeous. Better than the green. Still, Ford has beautiful paint colors right now.
      • 6 Years Ago
      ahh, the ol' http://asdf/ link
      • 6 Years Ago
      That is the exact same car as the Volvo S40 T5.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ford, Please bring us an RS version with the next generation Focus! How about a 4-door sedan version also?!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I wouldn't even mind the regular Euro Focus, let alone this gorgeous RS.


      Too bad we got stuck with the ugly American Focus. Aside from the obvious Mustang and F150, it's such ashame that Ford makes some great products that the people at home can't even buy.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Don't care for the Flex. The facelifted Fusion looks more better than the bland-looking pre-facelift one, but I can't help but to think that we in North America was robbed of the beautiful Mondeo they have in Europe.

        If only Ford had the foresight to make the current Mondeo a global "Fusion" before it hit the market a couple of years ago. :(
        • 6 Years Ago

        What about the updated Fusion and Flex?
      • 6 Years Ago
      this RS its gonna be sell in Mexico?
      Alex
      • 6 Years Ago
      Nicely done - we'll have to wait and see how long it will take for it (and if) to reach the states...let's say...2025? Any bidders...?
      • 6 Years Ago
      If Ford NA sold this car, I think it'd definitely sell well.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'm not sure why they don't sell this in America. Perhaps they enjoy losing market share to Civics.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I think it's on its way! Give Ford 365 more days for them to take their gloves completely off after regaining their stance like Rocky in round 15 versus Ivan Drago and to start swinging like an American Bad Ass and taking back market share, swing by swing and hit after hit.

        Yo Adrian! I did it!
      • 6 Years Ago
      That design is just so good. If it wasn't for the interwebz, I'd probably have no idea what I was missing across the pond. But, now I know what it feels like to "not get invited to the party". T _ T
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