Ford Focus RS: to be continued?
The Ford Focus RS is on its way back -- probably.
Strong demand for the 225bhp Focus ST has convinced the Blue Oval that there's enough demand for the RS, whose original version, launched in 2002, was slated by some for its inconsistent response to high power put through the front wheels.
According to Ford, it's sold twice as many STs as VW has Golf GTIs since the car's launch last year -- so it's decided to add 30 per cent more power on the back of last year’s World Rally Championship win, and build the RS.
The new RS gets a meaty 280bhp from a turbocharged version of the 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine lurking under the bonnet of the ST, driven through a six-speed box. Although only front-wheel drive, it also gets a semi-active limited-slip diff, which Ford said should help to improve traction. The suspension setup is more sporty, with stiffer springs and dampers, along with 19-inch wheels, all under a lowered body.
According to this week's Autocar, the decision to stick with front-wheel drive was an economic one, as uprooting the Focus' drivetrain would have been too expensive. As it is, you can expect the car to come in at around £21,000 to £23,000 -- a comparative bargain.
Other accoutrements include a deeper front spoiler with bigger scoops for cooling brakes and feeding the turbocharger, plus a WRC-influenced roof spoiler at the rear. And inside it'll get the usual add-ones, such as special seats, badges and trim.
Ford expects production to hit between 5,000 to 10,000 units.
However, the car's not official yet, according to the story, although Ford's performance cars' boss Jost Capito refused to rule the car out, saying that his division very much wanted to build cars like the RS.
If -- when? -- it arrives, expect to see the RS in Ford showrooms in 2009.