Ford Focus RS development showcased documentary-style

Based on numbers alone, the upcoming 2016 Ford Focus RS looks to be a very potent hot hatch. Not only does it out-muscle competitors in the segment but does so at a comparable price, too. Unfortunately, the RS isn't set to arrive in the US until next spring, which only leaves the configurator to play with in the meantime. For ravenous fans that yearn to learn more about the high-performance model, Ford is now launching an eight-part documentary series titled Rebirth of an Icon that delves into the development of this ultimate road-going Focus.

The first episode, premiering September 30, appropriately starts at the beginning, and according to Ford, it includes Ken Block sliding around in an early prototype. Additional entries will come each week thereafter to highlight track tests, extreme weather trials, and more. For an early peek behind the curtain, the trailer above shows some of the highlights from the series, including a few seconds of Block behind the wheel.

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Ford video documentary series reveals development story of the all-new Focus RS performance car

"Rebirth of an Icon" follows the highs and lows from design studio to worldwide premiere – through extreme testing in the Arctic and Arizona – and at the hands of RS consultant and Gymkhana superstar Ken Block

The trailer for the series, which features Raj Nair, Ford's group vice president, Global Product Development and chief technical officer, is available at First of eight weekly episodes goes live on 30 September

WARLEY, Essex, 23 September, 2015 – From the searing heat of Arizona to the icy wastes of the Arctic, from design studio to the crash lab, Ford Motor Company is revealing the behind-the-scenes story of the all-new Focus RS.

"Rebirth of an icon" shows the development of the latest generation of an automotive icon through a "warts and all" video documentary series covering every stage of the vehicle's evolution.

The inside story of the all-new Focus RS pulls no punches — following the car across the world as Ford Performance engineers and drivers put it to the test under the scrutiny of RS consultant and Gymkhana superstar Ken Block and Ford's group vice president for Global Product Development and chief technical officer, Raj Nair.

"The Focus RS is a unique performance vehicle with an incredible heritage. This creates enormous expectation and intense pressure that demands teamwork, sheer determination and a single-minded focus on delivering the ultimate Focus," said Raj. "This access-all-areas documentary perfectly captures what is at times a bumpy ride."

Eight weekly episodes start on 30 September:

Episode 1: Project kick-off – Ken Block and Raj Nair debate what the car should deliver, from behind the wheel of an early prototype

Episode 2: Design and development – Crunching crashes put the new design to the toughest of tests

Episode 3: Hitting the road – A 1,600-kilometre (1,000-mile) drive through epic terrain takes prototypes from high in the Rocky Mountains to the Arizona desert

Episode 4: Test-track trials – Block heads for Ford's top-secret test facility, and indulges in some "hooning"

Episode 5: Arctic extremes – Winter testing in Sweden, and the team is under pressure to improve performance

Episode 6: Power struggle – It's all about performance, as the Ford manufacturing plant in Saarlouis, Germany, gears up for production

Episode 7: Close scrutiny – The day of the critical sign-off drive follows Block's headline appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed

Episode 8: Final chapter – It's time for the nail-biting management review

The all-new Focus RS is available to order now at £28,940 customer delivery in early 2016, with the UK's waiting list already topping 500 prospective owners before prices were announced last week. The car debuts new Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring for outstanding traction and grip with unmatched agility and cornering speed, and features a specially engineered version of Ford's new 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine delivering 350PS for 4.7-second 0-62mph acceleration.

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