by Tim Stevens, February 3, 2015
After years of sliding around in the dirt of the World Rally Championship, and millions of YouTube views of Ken Block drifting race-bred hatchbacks around, Ford is finally bringing an all-wheel drive Focus to the roads. It's the new Focus RS, and unlike previous iterations of the hot hatch, it'll be available worldwide.
The upcoming Focus RS is a 315 (or more) horsepower version of the company's practical hatchback, sporting a 2.3-liter ecoboost engine up front. More important is the drivetrain connecting all four wheels. While Ford isn't giving much information on the differential setup, the drivetrain does support Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control, which will split power across the axles to help pull the car around corners.
The RS is said to be able to do better than 1G in cornering, helped surely by the 19-inch wheels wrapped in 235 section-width performance tires. Suspension is stiffer than the Focus ST, though switchable dampers will be able to take the edge off for riding on the street.
On the outside, a dramatic front fascia with LED running lights and a large "RS" logo certainly sets it apart from your average Focus, while the sizeable wing hanging off the hatch brings back memories of the venerable Escort Cosworth. The interior, meanwhile, features dual sports seats up front and, presumably, the company's new Sync 3 system in the dashboard.
No word on availability for the car, nor cost, but with the Focus ST priced directly to compete with the Subaru WRX, expect the RS to start around the same price as the Subaru WRX STI edition. That is to say, somewhere around $35,000.
2016 Ford Focus RS Preview - CNET