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Frankfurt show: Ford revs up for Focus RS

Hot Euro: Ford's range-topping Focus RS hot hatch will arrive Down Under in Q1 next year, priced from about $55,000, plus on-roads.

Ford announces 4.7-second 0-100km/h sprint time for super hot Focus RS

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Ford logo17 Sep 2015

By TIM NICHOLSON

FORD has announced the performance figures for its wild Focus RS hot hatch, with the Blue Oval confirming it will complete the 0-100km/h dash in 4.7 seconds.

The hardcore Focus is set to arrive in Australia in the first quarter of next year and is powered by a 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine that will also see service in the forthcoming Mustang sportscar, and is good for 257kW and 440Nm and a top speed of 266km/h.

The previous front-wheel drive Focus RS delivered 224kW/440Nm from a 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine shared with Volvo, and completed the 0-100km/h sprint in 5.9 seconds.

The Focus RS's key rival – Volkswagen's 206kW/380Nm all-wheel drive Golf R – can hit 100km/h from a standstill in 5.0 seconds in the dual-clutch version, and 5.2s in manual guise.

Ford has confirmed that the European rocket will be priced from $36,605 in America ($A50,914) and 28,940 in the United Kingdom ($A62,443), with Australian pricing expected to be in the mid-$50,000 mark. The Focus ST that arrived in Australia in April retails for $38,990 plus on-road costs.

This price bracket keeps it in line with the AWD Volkswagen Golf R that starts from $52,740 plus on-roads in manual guise.

If Ford keeps it under $60,000, it will easily undercut other AWD European hardcore hot hatches including the 265kW/450Nm Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG ($75,800) and the incoming 270kW/465Nm Audi RS3 ($78,900).

The 2016 model will mark the debut of a launch control system on the Focus RS, and it will introduce Ford's All-Wheel Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring for improved handling and grip.

The 2.3-litre engine is part of Ford's EcoBoost family, and in this guise is a four-cylinder unit with a twin-scroll turbocharger that delivers 10 per cent more power than the 228kW/434Nm tune under the bonnet of the Mustang. Drivers car tailor their drive experience with one of four different drive modes that tweak the AWD system, damper controls, ESC, steering and engine responses, and exhaust sound. Modes include Normal, Sport and Track as well as a Drift mode “to help the driver achieve controlled oversteer drifts under circuit conditions”, according to Ford.

While the previous RS was offered in Australia in strictly limited numbers, the new version will be a permanent member of the Ford Focus line-up.

Ford Australia brand communications manager Neil McDonald told GoAuto that there had been some interest in the RS leading up to the launch, and added that it will appeal to a different buyer base than the less frenetic ST.

“We have a very core base of RS enthusiasts and we have already been experiencing some interest from them,” he said. “You've got a flow of performance vehicles through ST right up to RS so I would anticipate them being a different customer.”

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