Okay Ford, this is what we like to see. One of our intrepid spy photographers has captured a vehicle that we weren't even sure would see the light of day – the next Focus RS. While this is pretty clearly a mule based on the current Focus ST, as our spy points out, there are a number of giveaways about this hot hatch's true nature.
Indication number one that all is not right with this Focus is the heavily camo'd front fascia, which has been completely reconfigured for duty on the RS. It boasts significantly larger grilles that are meant to accommodate what is likely the 2.3-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder that's destined for the 2015 Ford Mustang. Considering that, then, we can expect around 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque from the hottest of Foci, although it's entirely possible that the production model could climb even higher, to around 330 hp.
The front fascia tweaks are complemented in the back by a modified rear bumper, which fails at hiding a pair of exhaust tips quite unlike the standard Focus ST's center-exit exhaust. Other obvious changes include the wheel/tire/brake package on this particular car. Larger 19-inch wheels are shod in super-sticky Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires in 235/35/19 while the brakes feature what we think are four-piston calipers, possibly from Brembo, up front.
The big question that we can't answer with these photos is, though, whether the next RS will use all-wheel drive. That remains an open question, although hopefully we'll see evidence supporting that theory sooner rather than later. Until then, though, hop up top and take a look at the full gallery of spy photos of the next Ford Focus RS.