Hot hatch fans rejoice! Ford has confirmed there will be a third-generation Focus RS and we could see it as soon as January next year.
The new Focus RS will take the baton from its predecessor, a car that broke the rule book with 300bhp being put through the front wheels and Ford’s pioneering RevoKnuckle suspension system.
Front-wheel-drive looks to be Ford’s choice of drivetrain once more, but the new Focus RS will harness the Mustang’s turbocharged 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine and have power in the region of 330bhp.
As with most modern engines these days, despite power being increased for the new RS, economy is set to rise by 20 per cent on top of the 30.5mpg from the second-generation model, with the new car’s lightness a key factor in making a more efficient vehicle.
A limited-slip differential will be a defining component for the new RS, while RevoKnuckle will also be making a return to help reduce any torque-steer in the front wheels. Power will be put through a six-speed gearbox.
The new Focus RS will take on a more aggressive stance to that of the current ST model, with spy shots of the RS testing on the Nürburgring and near Ford headquarters in Detroit showing a restyled front bumper, a lower chassis and twin exhausts similar to those of its predecessor. Some have also commented on the loudness of the new RS’s exhaust note as it barked around Germany’s most famous circuit.
Sales for the new RS should see vast increases compared to the model before it, with Ford looking to brand the Focus name on the ‘One Ford’ global car mantra, something that will see the upcoming hot hatch be sold in every on of the manufacturer’s major markets. Ford can also benefit from the fact that the RS can be built on the same production line as the regular Focus, while sharing the engine with the Mustang will also heavily reduce development costs.
Ford will be utilising both the Focus RS and Mustang as part of a 12-car range of high performance models that will appear under a new Ford Performance banner between 2015 and 2020.
It’s possible next month’s Detroit motor show could be used for some sort of early reveal; whether or not this would be the full production version is unknown, but it’s an exciting prospect nonetheless.
The full launch of the new Focus RS is expected in 2016, and as with those before it, likely be a swansong for the current generation of Focus models.
Photos rendered by Auto Express