It’s been well known in Germany for over a decade. But, the One Ford initiative finally pays off for the enthusiasts in the United States as the Ford Focus RS makes its official debut here at the New York Auto Show.
With over 315 horsepower, all-wheel-drive, and all the hardware inside and out to make it fast and fun, the new Ford Focus RS will remain built exclusively in Germany, but will come to the U.S. show rooms in the spring of 2016.
With a tuned up version of the same 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder found in the 2015 Mustang and an upgraded six-speed manual transmission, the Ford Focus RS gets a special all-wheel-drive system which can deliver up to 70% of that power to the rear wheels.
That extra power over the Mustang comes from a new low-inertia twin-scroll turbocharger with a larger compressor. A super-sized inter-cooler and engine cooling pack allow for all-day throttling without power loss.
And helping to make that power both accessible and fun for its owner will be four different drive modes – normal, sport, track and drift. The industry-first drift mode calibrates the all-wheel drive to send power out back and help you belt out controlled oversteer drifts – at the track of course.
A launch control program sets the car up to give you the fastest possible acceleration. Just select launch control from the instrument cluster menu, engage first gear, step on the gas and let the clutch out. You’re off.
In the Focus RS you can also choose other settings for all-wheel drive, suspension stiffness, the Electronic Stability Control, steering and engine response, and even dial in the exhaust sound.
All of this power and speed is kept under control by much stiffer springs, bushings and anti-roll bars, and of course those adjustable dampers. Larger Brembo brakes come with 13.78-inch discs up front clamped by distinctive blue calipers.
You will notice the Focus RS from afar with its bolder front fascia, side skirts, and boy racer rear wing. Up front the mouth is as large as can be to provide cooling to the engine and inter-cooler radiator pack. It’s all framed with standard Bi-xenon headlights.
At the rear, the fascia features an obligatory diffuser which is as much functional as decorative. It’s that roof spoiler that will be copied hard by the J.C. Whitneys of the world. Man is that thing huge. And yes, it does offer real downforce.
Super lightweight 19-inch RS specific alloy wheels come in low-gloss black for now, wrapped with a choice of Michelin Pilot Super Sport 235/35R-19 tires or Pilot Sport Cup 2 super sticky and likely expensive track rubber.
It would not be complete without a total interior treatment which here comes with standard Recaro sport seats with partial leather trim. A leather wrapped flat-bottomed steering wheel, aluminum pedals and RS gauges all bring the bling you need.
Accent stitching here and there along with embroidered logos bring an upscale vibe that will surely go with its higher price. The Focus RS will be available in four colors only, Nitrous Blue, Stealth Gray, Shadow Black and Frozen White.
The all-new Focus RS arrives next spring and Ford says is one of 12 high-performance vehicles to arrive between now and 2020.