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Ford is a proud American automaker, but for quite some time, it's felt like they've reserved their best products (namely insane hot hatchbacks) for the European market. Now, though, that's all about to change. Meet the 2016 Ford Focus RS, a 320-horsepower, all-wheel-drive, monster hatchback with an eye on Subaru and Volkswagen.

BY Brian Leon, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, February 3, 2015

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Ford has answered our hot hatchback prayers with the 320-horsepower, all-wheel-drive Focus RS.

Ford has been on quite a performance-driven roll lately. First the absolutely bonkers Shelby Mustang GT350R and then the turbocharged reboot of the iconic GT supercar at Detroit, and now a hot hatchback for the ages.

Meet the 2016 Ford Focus RS, a 320-horsepower, all-wheel-drive rally car for the road and the hot hatch of our dreams.

It's no secret that Ford has largely saved its most exciting products for the European market over the years, including the positively insane previous generation RS with its machine-gun-like 5-cylinder engine and front-wheel-drive. But with the new RS coming to America as promised by CEO Mark Fields, we're willing to forgive them.

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With an aggressively-styled front end, there's no mistaking this Ford's intentions when it pops up in your rear view.

The all-new RS uses the same 2.3-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder found in the mid-level Mustang for a power output of more than 320-horsepower and 320 lb.-ft. of torque. The exact numbers haven't been nailed down yet, but that's some serious twist for a compact car.

All of this boosted power is available to all four wheels through a clever torque vectoring system that can send up to 70-percent of the power to the rear wheels, and up to 100-percent of that power to either wheel in the back as needed. The RS also receives sport suspension with spring rates, bushings, and anti roll bars, and an electric power steering system.

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With a clever torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system that can send up to 70-percent of power to the rear wheels, the Focus RS has the Subaru WRX STi and Volkswagen Golf R firmly in its sights.

To keep all that power firmly planted to the ground, the RS will wear sticky 19-inch Michelin Pilot Super Sports for every day use, and optional Sport Cup 2 tires for track use.

Styling-wise, there's no denying this Ford is out to be the hottest of hatches. What was already an aggressive look for the high-performance Focus ST has been turned up to 11 with the RS. A massive rear spoiler, rear splitter, big exhaust tips, heavily-styled front end, and 19-inch wheels make this Ford's sporting intentions abundantly clear.

Inside, there's not much to write home about over the ST or even a base Focus, but the RS does sport a performance steering wheel and gauges. But the most important pieces of all reside within, in the form of a 6-speed manual shifter and a third pedal.

Overall, this Focus is shaping up to be one of the best performance bargains money can buy, and if we were Subaru or Volkswagen, we'd have our eye firmly fixed on the new kid in blue.

http://www.nydailynews.com/autos/news/320-hp-2016-ford-focus-rs-revealed-article-1.2101468
 
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