Ford Focus RS gets 350 hp, 350 lb-ft, stall recovery tech

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Yes, 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. And the envy of every Subaru WRX STI, Volkswagen Golf R, and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X driver on the road. That's what you'll get if you buy the all-new Ford Focus RS.

Ford finally released the final output figures for its all-wheel-drive rocket hatch, and they far exceed the original estimate of 315 horsepower. In fact, the 2.3-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder develops a staggering 152 hp per liter. Anyone remember when 100 hp per liter was a huge deal?

Engineers have used any number of tricks to reach the vaunted horsepower figure. The EcoBoost four gets an "all-new" low-inertia, twin-scroll turbo delivering a peak boost of 23.2 psi. The system also makes use of a sizable intercooler, a low-restriction intake manifold, and, of course, a performance exhaust.

On top of the engine tech and lofty output, Ford detailed the new Stall Recovery feature. A function of the start-stop system, the new technology will automatically restart the engine by simply pressing in the clutch after a stall. It strikes us a pretty innovative feature.

"We knew we wanted to have stop-start technology on the RS. We said, 'What if [we] went one step further and controlled for engine stall at launch using the same technology?' So that's what we did and it's just as fast as our stop-start technology," Focus RS engineering and vehicle manager Tyrone Johnson said.

Well, that does it. We're officially excited to drive the Focus RS. Production is slated to kick off later this year. Here's hoping our First Drive comes shortly after that happy day.

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Focus RS Engineers Drop the Hammer: Hot Hatch Buyers to Get Monstrous Output of 350 Horsepower, 350 Lb.-Ft.

• Unique 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine powering all-new Focus RS certified at 350 horsepower at 6,000 rpm on way to 6,800-rpm redline

• Exclusive Focus RS turbo makes peak boost of 23.2 psi, with peak torque certified at 350 lb.-ft. at 3,200 rpm

• Innovative Focus RS feature restarts engine for drivers in the event of a stall

DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 12, 2015 – The unique EcoBoost® engine in the all-new Focus RS will produce 350 horsepower – far exceeding original estimates of 315 – along with 350 lb.-ft. torque.

And yet even with all that torque, the manual-only hot hatch will be especially forgiving in the event a driver stalls the engine, as Focus RS will debut with a trick feature called stall recovery. In other words, there will be no need for drivers to manually restart the engine or move the gear selector to neutral as the innovative technology simply pushes the clutch back in.

"We knew we wanted to put start-stop technology on the RS," explained Tyrone Johnson, engineering and vehicle manager, Ford Performance Europe. "So we said, 'What if we went one step further, and controlled for engine stall at launch using the same technology?' Well, that's exactly what we did and it's just as fast as our start-stop technology."

The monster output the Focus RS engine achieves is due to its all-new low-inertia twin-scroll turbocharger with a larger compressor wheel that delivers more airflow and power throughout the rev range. Peak turbocharger boost is 23.2 psi.

Backing up this increased output is a large intercooler to maximize charge density. Air itself is delivered through a low-restriction intake manifold on the front end with a high-performance exhaust. The system includes an electronically controlled valve that optimizes back pressure and exhaust volume level.

Stout, high-tensile cast-iron cylinder liners are used to enhance the robustness of the engine, while a high-performance head gasket brings improved thermal capability.

Additional space created in the front of the car allowed engineers to deploy a larger radiator than what's used on other Focus models for enhanced cooling.

Despite the engine's high output of 152 horsepower per liter, RS engineers tuned this EcoBoost to deliver right off idle all the way on up to a free-spinning 6,800 rpm, with an especially chunky midrange power delivery.

Focus RS is the latest car to be unveiled as part of a new golden age of Ford Performance. The plan calls for bringing more than 12 high-performance vehicles to market worldwide through 2020.

Developed by a small team of Ford Performance engineers in Europe and the United States, the third-generation Focus RS follows on the heels of the much-loved models launched in 2002 and 2009. The 2016 Focus RS is the 30th car globally to wear the vaunted RS badge, joining such legendary models as the 1970 Escort RS1600, the 1984 mid-engine RS200 Group B rally car, 1985 Sierra RS Cosworth and 1992 Escort RS Cosworth.

Production of Focus RS with 2.3-liter EcoBoost begins later this year.

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