Article by Anthony Alaniz. Images by Ford Media and Kahn Design.
You want one. We want one. I want one. Everyone wants one.
While the horsepower war has been dutifully wound up by the Mustang, Camaro and Challenger in an epic pissing contest, a new segment of performance cars has emerged out of the automotive slump of the 2000s—hot hatches.
These three- and five-door machines combine the convenience of front- or all-wheel drive with peppy, usually turbocharged engines for a relatively reasonable price. They are the type of cars that are fun and practical—something wherein the bigger, V-8 offerings usually make compromises.
A source budding up with Road & Track has leaked that the Ford Focus RS will be coming to our shores, but with a unique feature—all-wheel drive.
According to Road & Track, the new car forgoes the previous car’s inline-5 engine for Ford’s new turbocharged 2.3-liter, four-cylinder harnessing the power of Ford’s Ecoboost technology. It is the same mill going into the 2015 Ford Mustang. Talk about irony.
Horsepower figures for the 2.3-liter engine in the Mustang makes 310 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque. However, final power figures for the Focus RS are far from final, but expect the rating to be far above the current ST offerings. Sources revealed to the publication that the RS will make in excess of 325 horsepower, but less than 350.
The all-wheel drive system employed to put the power down is completely new and not currently found on other Ford products. The system in the RS will use torque vectoring to aid in handling.
The new RS will likely compete with the recently revealed Volkswagen Golf R, which will soon be on our shores and is rumored to have 395 horsepower and incorporate an all-wheel-drive system as well.
As in any capitalistic market, competition is good for consumers. While the Focus RS—and Golf R—will be extremely niche products, this technology will soon trickle down to other offerings in the lineup.
If the 2.3-liter engine can produce 350 horsepower, how long before tuners get the Mustang up to that figure. Ford’s high-performance all-wheel drive system will eventually find its way to other vehicles the automaker sells.
We can only hope that the Focus RS is as radical as rumors make us believe it to be. Either way, it will be nice to have a true hot-hatch on our shores from Ford.