The Focus RS will be seen in motion for the first time on the hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend, with Youtube sensation Ken Block at the wheel.
The engine is based on the unit found under the bonnet of the new Ford Mustang, producing 10 per cent more power. A new turbo and intercooler liberated the extra ponies, but there has been a lot of detail work to cope with the forces and, in particular, the heat. As such, the RS has the biggest radiator ever fitted to a Focus.
Spent gases are sent out through a big-bore exhaust, which Ford rather dryly says delivers “a rewarding and sporty sound character during spirited driving, with the distinctive burbles and pops that are a RS signature.” In other words, it sounds filthy.
Under normal circumstances, peak torque of 324lb/ft is delivered right in the middle of the rev range. Mash the throttle and you get a 15-second burst of overboost, producing 347lb/ft.
There’s no word on performance numbers yet, but you can guarantee the Focus RS will be extremely fast.
It’s not just about muscle, though: the Focus RS employs some highly advanced chassis technology.
The main headline is that the Focus RS has four-wheel-drive. But Ford has reinvented the wheel, so to speak, developing what it calls ‘All-Wheel-Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring’. Rather than a traditional differential, the system uses two electronically-controlled clutch packs either side of the Rear Drive Unit. The RDU distributes power front to back and side to side across the back axle. Up to 100 per cent of the power can be sent to either rear wheel.
On turn-in the RDU sends power to the outer rear wheel, which Ford says “virtually eliminates understeer.” Best of all, there’s a Drift Mode that allows “controlled oversteer drifts.” Hooning, in other words.
The Focus RS goes on sale early next year, with prices expected to start around £30,000. It is the 30th car to wear the RS badge – first seen in 1968 on the German-market Taunus 16M – and one of 12 cars fettled by Ford Performance that will reach the market by 2020.
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By Only Motors