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Five-door Ford Focus RS to pack Mustang punch

A sneak peek video of Focus RS reveals details of the Blue Oval’s hottest hot hatch

Ford logo23 Jan 2015

By TIM ROBSON

OFFICIALLY slated for a February 3 reveal, Ford’s new Focus RS will most likely sport the 2.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that will feature under the bonnet of the upcoming Mustang.

With sources indicating a power output in the region of 240kW, it appears as if the new car will comfortably eclipse the 224kW produced by the previous-generation RS.

Whether the new car will continue in the wheeltracks of the old machine by utilising front-wheel-drive is a subject of debate. While the teaser video is inconclusive, outputting more than 240kW through the front tyres may be a tricky task.

Ford’s RevoKnuckle suspension uprights, a mechanical limited slip differential and electronic torque vectoring may keep all of that power – and a torque figure approaching 400Nm – under control a four-wheel-drive system, however, would do an even better job.

There is speculation that an all-new system will debut underneath the RS, relying more heavily on computerised torque vectoring control at all four wheels than previous systems.

While the mule cars in the video exhibit traits of a rear-biased AWD layout, Ford Australia was not in a position to offer any insights when contacted by GoAuto. It has previously indicated that it expects the car to arrive in 2016.

It’s unlikely that Ford will abandon a manual gearbox option for the RS. The previous limited-edition car was available only as a manual , but with the new RS destined for the American market, an automatic transmission option is almost a given.

Externally, the RS appears to be based on the four-door bodyshell, eschewing the two-door configuration of its predecessor. Wider front arches and an aggressive rear wing and side skirts will complement a heavily revised bumper, while 19-inch rims will cover four-piston brakes up front.

The RS has been developed in Belgium and in the US. The previous car was sold here between 2008 and 2010, with 315 units sold.

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