Ford announced last week that they will be releasing a new Ford Focus RS in North America and worldwide in the spring of 2016. For those unfamiliar with the Focus RS, it is an All Wheel Drive, sports model hatchback Focus. The Focus RS has been extremely popular overseas (particularly in India where the RS and other Ford hatchbacks make up nearly 50% of car sales), and Ford is finally bringing the RS back to the United States due to popular demand.
The three main talking points (directly from Ford) are as follows:
- All-new Focus RS makes North American debut at New York International Auto Show introducing advanced performance technologies for ultimate hot hatch experience; pioneers innovative Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring, industry-first drift mode, additional drive modes• Third-generation high-performance hatch features specially engineered 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine producing more than 315 horsepower, most powerful RS brake system ever with Brembo front calipers• Ford Focus RS will be at dealerships in the United States in spring 2016
Ford’s official press release states, “Industry-first drift mode is specially calibrated for all-wheel drive to modify torque distribution to help the driver achieve controlled oversteer drifts at the track.” No other sport model will have this technology available. Ford has also worked with Michelin to create special 19” wheels designed specifically for the Focus RS, as well as a newly designed exterior to increase aerodynamics. Based on what lead design director Joel Piaskowski, says “This is the ultimate Focus – stunning to look at and entirely fit for its purpose, RS models have always been striking, high-performance cars where function is paramount, and Focus RS is true to that heritage.” these are just a few of the new features we can expect on the 2016 Focus RS. We look forward to hearing more details next week when the car makes its official release announcement in New York.
The RS was last released in the US in 2002 and as Vice President of Development Joe Bakaj said, “Driving enthusiasts have always aspired to own RS vehicles, and this heritage inspires everyone at Ford. Now, enthusiasts in North America will have a chance to become an owner of this remarkable performance hatch.” With other brands’ AWD sports models gaining traction (no pun intended) in the US, Ford wants to ensure they release a vehicle not just to join the competition, but beat it.
The Focus RS’ announcement is part of Ford’s “commitment to performance” which will include the release of twelve or more performance/sport vehicles by 2020. Based on what we’ve seen so far from the Focus RS, the new F-150 Raptor, and the Ford GT, Ford’s next announcements are likely to take our breathe away.
Check out a video of the European reveal HERE.
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