Here in the U.S., we haven't benefited from the hot hatch hysteria that has swept through Europe over the past several years. Our choices have been limited and even more so when it comes to domestic manufacturers. With the exception of the SVT Focus, Ford has never graced our shores with one of their hotted-up hatches, but still we yearn for some tire-smoking, turbocharged three-door action.

So without bemoaning the fact that we won't be getting the new RS, we'll just give you the facts, as they've been gathered by Autocar.

Continued after the jump...

[Source: Autocar]

First off, the 225 HP, European Focus ST has been a resounding success abroad. According to Ford, they've sold twice as many STs as VW has sold GTIs in 2006. So Ford has seen fit to play off its WRC cred and bring back the RS after a brief hiatus.

The new RS will come equipped with a 280 HP, 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder, sourced from Volvo, which will send power through a six-speed manual to a semi-active limited slip differential driving the front wheels. The addition of the diff is important, as the old RS was plagued by a considerable amount of unmanageable torque steer and, according to Autocar, Ford's financial wonks have determined that front-wheel-drive is the only cost effective solution.

The suspension will be revised with stiffer springs, shocks and 19-inch rolling stock, with sticky rubber that should help quell some of the aforementioned power delivery problems. A deeper front spoiler will be accompanied by a series of scoops that will aid in brake cooling and feeding the hungry turbocharger.

Pricing should be in the £21,000 to £23,000 realm, which, in addition to the performance mods, will get you the usual interior accoutrements: special seats, badges, trim, etc. Production is expected to be between 5,000 and 10,000 units and, naturally, none of those will make it to U.S. consumers.

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