The nay-sayers would have you believe this little beast isn’t ever making a US appearance, but they would be wrong wrong wrong! A Ford source has confirmed to Road & Track that the next-generation Focus RS is likely to come to North America in extremely limited numbers. Unlike its predecessor, it’ll be AWD.
The old car (shown above) featured a turbocharged inline 5 pushing 305 hp to the front wheels through what Ford called the RevoKnuckle, to reduce what would otherwise be shoulder-dislocating torque steer. The new car wipes the board clean and starts over. In addition to AWD, the RS will be the only Focus to pack Ford’s new 2.3-liter Ecoboost four-cylinder, available now in the Lincoln MKC and very soon in the 2015 Mustang.
This Focus is free to turn up the horsepower wick. Since the 2.3-liter Ecoboost is easily capable of more than its 310 hp output in the Mustang, which was dictated more by fuel economy concerns than anything else, the RS is free to pump out between 325 and 350 hp. The higher figure is more likely. This is because as a low-volume, niche product that doesn’t compete with the Mustang GT, there’s no reason to hold the Focus RS back. To put the power down, Ford will employ an entirely new AWD system intended for high-output applications. It’s not the same system employed on the Fusion, Escape, and MKZ. The new system will employ torque vectoring front and rear to aid handling, and after debuting in the Focus RS it will trickle down to other applications.
It’s time for Ford to up the ante once again with wee-tuner. The Fiesta ST has already put them in the game. Any takers?