2016 Ford Focus RS is Your New Hot Hatch God [w/ Video]
When Ford started shipping the Focus ST to its U.S. dealers a couple of years ago, it marked an important turning point in the company’s history: Other than the first-gen-based Focus SVT, Ford had had an abysmal track record with regard to sending hot hatches and other sporty European-bred models to the nation in which it is headquartered. But that new EcoBoost-motivated wild child – and the arguably even more delectable Fiesta ST that followed – put an emphatic stop to that tradition. Now a third member of the Blue Oval’s global hot rod hatchback initiative – the 2016 Ford Focus RS – is ready to clock in, and it’s got a serious thirst for Lancer Evolution, WRX STI, and Golf R blood.
Scheduled to be available only as a 5-door, the Focus RS looks the part of a hot hatch, with front and rear fascias, side skirts, and a rear wing that are even more muscular than the ones installed on the Focus ST. That makes all kinds of sense when you realize what’s underneath this beast: An EcoBoost 2.3L turbocharged inline-four (presumably based on the one found in the new Mustang and an increasing-number of Ford and Lincoln crossovers) that produces some number greater than 316 horsepower, coupled to a 6-speed manual transmission and a super-trick all-wheel-drive system that features a whole gaggle of clutch packs and couplings to adjust torque distribution both front-to-back and side-to-side in order to maximize the car’s performance potential.
And we hope to have a better idea of how vast that performance potential is when the Focus RS makes its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month. In the meantime, check out the replay of the launch event at Ford Europe’s main factory complex in Cologne, Germany below, which includes a fantastic history lesson on RS Fords and insights on the development of the newest member of the family, including some from a certain YouTube celebrity…[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQ6JqTMHcqs[/youtube]