• Jul 23rd 2010 at 1:59PM
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Despite driving only the front wheels, reviewers have heaped praise on the current Ford Focus RS's handling and its ability to put 300 horsepower to the road thanks to some nifty suspension and driveline tricks. However, when the next-generation RS rolls into town (assuming that it becomes a reality) it may well have all-wheel-drive courtesy of an electric motor driving the rear axle.
According to Autocar, the proposed car would use a higher output version of the Blue Oval's 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder driving the front wheels and an electric motor at the rear. This would allow for both on-demand all-wheel-drive and electric-only drive at low speeds. If this plan proceeds, it would be Ford's first through-the-road hybrid, although French automaker Peugeot has firm plans to introduce at least two vehicles with a similar configuration in 2011.

Other alternatives reportedly being studied by Ford are an even higher output gasoline engine (sans motor assistance), or use of the next-generation power-split hybrid that debuts in 2012. However, both of these options would involve sticking with front-wheel-drive and could be problematic if Ford wants to surpass the output of the current RS.

[Source: AutoCar]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      AWD Focus? Sign me up.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Bad to the ass.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Boy, did they ruin this car when they dumped the super sounding Volvo 5 banger for a Pinto sounding 4 banger.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Considering that the current Focus RS starts at a base price of (converted to US$) $38,359.... I wonder how many would (really) shell out that kind of green for it?
      patrick lynch
      • 5 Years Ago
      The day I buy a car that may cost me or someone,in my family,there lives because of the cars size,and or lack of power when you really need it.Is the day I use the transit system.Now Obama will soon have gas at $6.00 a gallon,and I may have to use the transit system any way.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @patrick lynch
        Not sure what that has to do with the article in any way, shape, or form, but thanks for letting us know when you'll start using public transit. That's just the information I was looking for today!
      • 5 Years Ago
      This will be Ford's answer to the already stale Evos/Stis. If you find that these mythical price conversions are outlandish and you would rather buy the usual turbo AWD sedans, go for it. That leaves one available for a real Focus enthusiast, not some convert that bitch about this car too
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't see where this configuration really has a compelling advantage. It's not as if you are sending the power from the ICE to all four wheels - it's still a FWD drivetrain from the point of view of the ICE. So you are still facing the same torque steer issues. Granted, because of the electric engine powering in the rear, you can then use a lower power engine which will help mitigate torque steer. But I can't see them going too much below 250hp or so with gas engine. It seems like a proper AWD drivetrain, be it hybrid or just conventional gasoline, is the way to go.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow I'm diggin that render alot... And AWD is exactly what the doctor ordered for this car. Should have been an option on the current one but maybe Ford is feeling generous this time around.

      Also I get the purpose of the electric engine in the rear, but this car begs to be driven fast... I don't think i'd ever let that thing kick on if I had this car hehe :D
      • 5 Years Ago
      How much would this cost? The Focus has never been an expensive car, and surely this would run you more than the SVT Focus of old. Although Ford did do well with the pricing of the new MK-Z Hybrid, so maybe there is some pricing trickery to be used here as well.

      At the very least, the Focus RS AWD would further distinguish the Focus from the Fiesta.
        • 5 Years Ago

        Did you directly convert that currency? Did you included VAT in there? Cause that price is around Evo/Sti territory which would suck cause I'd get a Evo or Sti for that price.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes, the Focus has never been an expensive car... here...

        But then again, everyone complained that it wasn't as good a car as the European version. That has a lot to do with the price of each car.

        The all new 2012 Focus comes from Europe, where Focii are highly valued and sell for a lot more than they do here. It will likely price higher than the current Focus when it debuts early next year. That's OK in the lower price brackets if it's a few hundred or thousand above the old Focus. The RS is another story entirely though. It sells for over £27,000 (over $40,000) over there. BASE. I don't know if it makes sense to sell one here at that price. It may be that the ST is all we'll get while the RS stays in Europe where it is appreciated. Sad, but understandable.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If only Ford would allow import of it's "real" Fiesta! Why must European models that we "hear" are the best in the world be excluded from sale here? Let's change those ridiculous rules now!
      • 5 Years Ago
      If they don't bring this to the US, I will never forgive them.

      I'm looking at buying an STi within the next few years, and if this is released around the time I'm thinking about buying, they would most likely steal a sale from Subaru.

      While they're at it, bring the Fiesta RS over here, too...WE WILL BUY THEM!
      • 5 Years Ago
      This one strikes me as more gimmick than anything.

      Massive HP to the FWD will completely overpower the tepid EV driving the rear wheels.

      This is AWD in name only.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Maybe, maybe not. The fact that the front and rear are completely split gives you a lot of flexibility, so like I said, you can get ratios that you wouldn't normally get with a full-time awd system.

        And for a consumer road car, yes, the batteries would have to be appropriately sized to give you the power whenever you want it, but I've always wondered how a system like this would work in something like the WRC. There is a lot of heavy braking, and low speed hairpins with an opportunity to recapture a lot of braking energy to dump into the battery. Plus, in the straight, flat sections, the awd isn't necessary, so you could have a system monitoring traction, slip angle, yaw rate, etc and add power to the front wheels only when necessary.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think this would almost work better the opposite way. Engine driving the rear wheels, and a motor driving the fronts. The massive HP is delivered to the rear wheels when it's needed at launch, but an EM in the front could assist for added face-ripping accel.

        You could have an infinitely adjustable awd system as well...from 100% front, 0% rear (don't know why you'd want it) to 0% front to 100% rear (tokyo drift mode).

        Plus EMs in the front would be able to capture the majority of the braking energy, whereas if they were in the rear, they're only seeing a fraction of what they could.

        The possibilities are endless...hybrids are nifty like that.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Electric motors make all their torque at 0 rpms so that could provide quite a pick me up from a stop. I'm not sure how it would help once underway though.
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