New Ford Focus RS Spotted Testing
By James Mosley
Ford have already almost confirmed that a new Ford Focus RS is on the way, and the above photo could well be the first shot of the new car in development.
Although it looks very similar to a standard Focus ST model, there’s a fair amount of camouflage going on around the rear bumper, hiding what appears to be two large exhaust exits mounted on either side. With the current ST model having a center exit exhaust, this setup suggests that this could indeed be an early prototype of the car that hot hatch fans have been waiting for.
With the photo here indicating an early prototype. it appears that the 2016 release date is seeming more and more likely. Barb Samardzich, chief operating officer for Ford of Europe recently said “I can’t give you any confirmation today, but let’s say there’s a strong desire. Something like that makes a great halo car.” A Ford spokesman then followed: “We have a rich heritage of RS cars and we’re not about to let any competitors overtake us in that respect.”
Under the bonnet of the new model is rumoured to be a new version of the 2.3 litre EcoBoost engine from the 2015 Mustang. In the Mustang, the engine produces 304 bhp but it seems likely that Ford will up the power to around 350 bhp to take on more powerful rivals such as the Mercedes A45 AMG.
However, unlike the Mercedes, Ford is more than likely going to stick with a front wheel drive system combined with a clever front suspension and diff setup, like the RevoKnuckle system used on the last Focus RS.
Expect the final version to look very different to the plain looking prototype with a seriously aggressive styling overhaul. In terms of price, the brand will of course want to make the new Focus RS competitive and affordable to expect a starting price of around £27,000.