Good news, Ford Focus lovers. The new 2016 Ford Focus RS is finally coming to the United States. It’s a grittier, sportier version of one of Ford’s most popular models, perfect for those of us who have dreams of being a rally car racer like Ken Block, who provided input on the design.
Check out all the details of this hot new hatchback below.
That’s right, the RS is powered by a version of the same EcoBoost engine found in Ford’s new Mustangs. The only difference in this 2.3L four cylinder is that it has a twin-scroll turbo with a bigger intercooler and compressor. How much power, you ask? Try at least 320 horsepower and 320 lb/ft of torque.
A Rally Car for the Masses
Staying true to the rally car spirit, the gearbox is a six-speed manual. This RS will satisfy everyone’s craving for all-wheel drive — torque vectoring all-wheel drive, to be exact. With a pair of electronic clutch packs, power is monitored and displaced between each of the four wheels. But if you really want to, you can send up to 100 percent of your available power to just one of the wheels.
So what does all this fancy jargon give you? Better grip — one g of lateral acceleration, anyone? — and the capability to put the car into what Ford calls “controlled oversteer.”
To add even more to this car’s rally heart, Ford added stiffer springs and bushings, as well as anti-roll bars. It also features 19-inch alloy wheels that sit inside Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. For the real racers out there, you can upgrade to Pilot Sport Cup 2 semi-slick tires.
Racing With Style
Inside the cockpit, you get a pair of blue-stitched Recaro racing seats, alloy pedals, and a flat-bottom steering wheel. Three auxiliary gauges let you control oil temperature, pressure and turbo boost. From what pictures show of the dash, it’s a simple, race-centric interface that leaves only the essentials.
On the exterior, you get dual exhaust pipes in the back, plus a huge rear wing near the top of the trunk. The front grille will swallow you up, as it’s probably designed to stuff as much air through it as possible.
Ready to Compete
With all of its stellar features, the Focus RS was designed with its competitors in mind. This car is anticipated to challenge the Volkswagen Golf R, Mini JCW, Honda Civic Type R and the Subaru WRX STi.
Ford hasn’t provided in-depth details of its launch and pricing plans for the RS. It’s expected the car’s price range will fall somewhere between $30,000 to $35,000. That’s a pretty impressive figure, considering the performance package that comes with the car and its ability to take on today’s hot hatchbacks.
The Focus RS is but one of the 12 models Ford plans to release by 2020, part of the Ford Global Performance Plan that was announced a few months ago. Ford has really stepped up its performance game lately, and with the debut of the RS, it’s the knight in shining armor for affordable racetrack power.