It's been so long since the car debuted, at the 2015 New York Auto Show, that you may want a quick refresher. The Focus has had three generations in Europe, and each of them have begat an RS variant. Traditionally, the RS was a front-driver, initially with a turbocharged inline-four, and in the second-generation model a Volvo-derived turbo inline-five with a fancy RevoKnuckle front suspension design to manage torque steer.
The third-generation Focus RS will be the first of the breed to hit our shores, and it'll also be the first with all-wheel drive. The new torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system comes with a Drift Mode, taking advantage of the system's ability to channel as much as 70 percent of available power to the rear, and from there up to 100 percent of that to one side. Combined with a stability control system that allows for true hooligan antics, Drift Mode should be a riot. Don't forget that the Focus RS will beat a Subaru WRX STI's 5.1-second 0-60 mph time handily if Ford's quoted 4.7-second 0-62 time is to be believed.
Since the production line has started, there's a good chance Ford will be able to deliver the 350-hp hatch to Americans this spring, as promised. The $36,605 base price that Ford has confirmed (including destination) still represents the entry point.
DEARBORN, Mich., Jan. 15, 2016 – With U.S. sales of Ford's performance cars outpacing the overall industry, production kickoff for the company's long-anticipated, 350-horsepower hot hatch couldn't come at a better time. The first all-new Focus RS has rolled off the line in Saarlouis, Germany.
The arrival of Focus RS in the United States this spring adds to a potent hot hatch lineup. Ford's Focus ST and Fiesta ST both have enjoyed critical acclaim and success. Sales of the Focus ST increased 9 percent last year while Fiesta ST saw a gain of 4 percent.
The Ford Performance U.S. lineup is set to grow by three models in 2016. Focus RS will be joined by F-150 Raptor this fall and the all-new Ford GT supercar that goes into production late this year. Along with Focus ST and Fiesta ST, the lineup already includes Shelby® GT350 and GT350R, which debuted late last year.
Record-breaking Focus RS
Focus RS is one of 12 performance vehicles Ford will bring to customers globally through 2020. Developed by a team of Ford Performance engineers in Europe and the U.S., Focus RS is powered by a specially engineered version of Ford's new 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine. Its 4.7-second 0-62-mph sprint makes the high-performance hatchback the fastest-accelerating Ford RS model ever.
Focus RS pioneers innovative Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring for a new level of handling, grip and cornering speed. For the first time, the RS model gets selectable drive modes – including industry-first drift mode that allows controlled oversteer drifts – and launch control.