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Ford on track with turbocharged Focus

Back in black: The latest Focus RS at Germany's famed Nurburgring circuit.

Red-hot RS Focus hits the Nurburgring in preparation for 2009 global release

13 Jun 2008

FORD of Europe has taken its forthcoming Focus RS to the Nurburgring race circuit in Germany for performance and durability testing in the lead-up to a 2009 launch.

It is not yet clear if the latest red-hot turbocharged Focus will be sold in Australia and, if so, whether it will wear Ford or FPV badges here, although FPV has indicated that it will not sell a car it has not engineered itself.

Either way, it is a highly anticipated final swansong for the current model (whose successor will be made in Melbourne), as well as a direct rival for HSV’s Astra VXR, the Golf R32 and the new Impreza STi and Lancer Evo X.

With more than 205kW of power and 400Nm of torque from its 2.5-litre Duratec engine being pumped through the front wheels, the fastest Focus built by Ford is sure to have been a handful around the legendary circuit in the Eifel mountains.

27 center imageFocus RS project leader Jost Capito said the test and development program will continue for several months, with production starting in early 2009.

“The new Focus RS is as much a car for driving enthusiasts as the one before it and classic Ford RS models of the past.

“We’re staying true to the core RS principles of a no-compromise, affordable high performance road car you can live with. The new Focus RS will have the muscles, heart and soul of a genuine RS and will be exciting to drive every day.

“In early prototypes based on Focus ST vehicles, the new front-wheel drive system, combined with a limited-slip differential, is more than meeting our targets for exceptional levels of traction, handling and steering.

“Given that the enthusiastic team behind the car are all performance vehicle enthusiasts, you can imagine that our standards are high.

“We have no doubt that we can enhance the acclaimed qualities of the already excellent Focus for an even higher performance model than the ST [XR5 in Australia].

“Now, we are going through the rigorous job of proving out our technical approach in extensive testing and tuning over a variety of roads including the most demanding track in the world, the ‘Green Hell’ that is the Nurburgring Nordschleife.”

Ford will present the production-ready Focus RS for the first time at the London Motor Show late next month.

Read more:

First look: Ford commits to new Focus RS

FPV to fly with homegrown Focus

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