2015 Ford Focus RS test mule

Ford is expected to be launching a revised version of the Focus ST soon, but the latest snapshots from our spy photographers at the Nürburgring suggest that the Blue Oval is already working on an even more potent example: the new Focus RS.

Though the partially disguised test mule is wearing an ST badge (along with a Dewey sticker that makes us wonder what adventures Huey and Louie are up to and what manner of duck-tail rear spoiler they may be wearing), there are several tell-tale signs that something else is afoot here. There's a larger front air dam, bigger brake calipers, dual exhaust tips (instead of the central exhaust on the ST) and a reshaped wing protruding from the trailing edge of the roof.

That may all be well and fine, but what's under the hood? We don't know yet for sure, but word has it that Ford is preparing to port over the 2.3-liter turbo four offered in the new Mustang, where it packs 305 horsepower and almost as much torque – potentially retuned to produce even more for the top-of-the-line Focus, which could channel it all to the front wheels like the last model or pack an all-wheel drive system. The Global C platform on which the Focus is based does, after all, also underpin AWD models like the Ford Escape and Lincoln MKC.

Of course there's no telling if the Focus RS would make it Stateside, but Ford could take inspiration from the popularity of the Focus ST here and bring it over. Considering that the last batch of spy shots we saw of the Focus RS prototype were snapped on US soil, our hopes are rising.