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New Ford Focus RS to pack 257kW punch

Focus ST-eroids: Ford's new Focus RS will arrive to the hot hatch party packing 257kW of power and 440Nm of torque thanks to a specially honed 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine.

Ford manages to squeeze 257kW/440Nm from 2.3-litre turbo four for hi-po Focus RS

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Ford logo25 Jun 2015

By TUNG NGUYEN

FORD’S forthcoming Focus RS hot hatch will make 257kW of power and 440Nm of torque – 24kW and 8Nm more than the entry level 233kW/432Nm EcoBoost Mustang with which it shares the same 2.3-litre powerplant.

The power boost over the Mustang comes as a result of Ford Performance fettling, with the new Focus RS receiving a more free-flowing twin-scroll turbo, bigger intercooler, less restrictive intake and larger-bore exhaust system.

The four-pot EcoBoost's cylinder head is also produced from a higher strength alloy, able to withstand higher operating temperatures, while a reworked front end houses the biggest radiator yet to ever grace a Focus variant.

Although Australian pricing will not be confirmed until closer to launch, the hottest-ever Focus is expected to be priced close to the previous-generation's $59,990 when it arrives, probably in the first half of 2016.

Although official zero-to-100km/h and top speed numbers are yet to be released, Ford's hottest Focus yet is expected to shoot from a standstill to 100km/h in about five seconds – almost a second faster than the previous Focus RS. Top speed will be about 250km/h.

This time, the RS gets a better grip on the road, thanks to all-wheel drive and a dynamic torque vectoring system.

The previous front-wheel drive Focus RS, released in Australia in limited quantities in 2010, made 224kW of power and 440Nm of torque from a charismatic 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine shared with Volvo.

A trick front suspension helped to eliminate torque steer, resulting in a 0-100km/h time of 5.9 seconds.

The new RS eclipses the previous Focus range-topper, the ST which produces 184kW/360Nm from a 2.0-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder and accelerates from zero to 100km/h in 6.5 seconds.

Ford Performance global director Dave Pericak said the new Focus RS would appease power hungry fans as well as give existing hot hatch marques reason for concern.

“We promised enthusiasts a serious driving machine and, with 350 PS (257kW) under the hood, that is exactly what we will deliver,” he said.

“The stunning pace and innovative technology of the all-new Focus RS place it head-to-head with performance models from luxury and exotic marques, and it's ready for the challenge.”

The only all-wheel-drive hot hatch to top the new Focus RS in the numbers game is the 265kW/450Nm Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG that devours the zero-to-100km/h sprint in 4.6 seconds and costs $75,800 before on-road costs.

Audi's upcoming RS3 Sportback will also eclipse the Focus, making 270kW/465Nm from a turbo-petrol five-cylinder, rocketing the five-door from 0-100km/h in 4.3 seconds.

Other competitors in the segment include the Audi S3 Sportback (210kW/380Nm) and the Volkswagen Golf R (206kW/380Nm) priced at $61,110 and $52,740 respectively.

“This very special 2.3-litre EcoBoost unit will inspire drivers as they feel the surge of the turbo, and reward them as they take it to the red line,” Mr Pericak said.

“All delivered with a visceral sound guaranteed to put a smile on your face.”

Fans of the new top-performing Focus will have a chance to see and hear the car first hand at this weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK, where a prototype car will be driven by YouTube sensation and World Rallycross competitor Ken Block.

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