2009 Ford Focus RS – Click above for high-res image gallery

It's no secret that we openly covet the Ford Focus Rallye Sport. Unfortunately, the Blue Oval never found it in its heart to let the hottest version of its Focus hatchback into the United States... or any version of the European Focus for that matter. As such, we're certainly not expecting to see the rumored Clubsport model that Auto Express claims will be the current car's swan song before the new version is unveiled based on the all-new Focus.

Too bad, as the idea of 350 horsepower from Ford's highly lauded 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine sounds just peachy, as do the lightweight racing seats, lowered and stiffened suspension and suitably sticky rubber. If there's any truth to all of this, expect the run to 60 to be dispatched in just about five seconds flat. Don't be too saddened by the news, though.

The next juicy bit of internet rumormongering is that a new version of the RS has been greenlit, based on the new Focus platform that was recently unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show. This model would seemingly have a much better chance of coming Stateside, being that the next Focus will be a true global vehicle.

If you're the type that likes to save fuel while scorching asphalt, you'll like the rumored inclusion of a hybrid powertrain centering on Ford's 2.0-liter Ecoboost four cylinder. That boosted mill would reportedly drive the front wheels while an electric motor would send torque to the rear, resulting in an all-wheel drive arrangement, estimated 0-60 run of (again) five seconds and a top speed of 155 miles per hour.

Interestingly, AE reports that this is the same powertrain Peugeot used in its SR1 concept, and the French automaker is said to have co-developed the hybrid drivetrain with Ford. We won't know whether or not any of this is accurate for quite some time, as the car reportedly won't be ready for another three years, but a 240-horsepower Ecoboost Focus ST may be on the way within the next 18 months. We'll see...

[Source: Auto Express]

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