After what feels like the longest wait ever, the NEW Ford Focus RS has arrived at Jennings Ford.
With a AWD system that Ford are really excited about, the handling of the RS is exactly what RS fans everywhere are looking for.
"We're using an all-wheel drive system we believe no one else is," says Ford Performance director Dave Pericak. "The RDU has a clutch at the front and twin clutches at the back, one on either side of the diff. So we can control the torque front-to-back but also side-to-side. We push the car around the corner, we don't slow the car down.
"It's an all-new AWD system designed specifically for the RS. The capability is unbelievable. It'll shock you when you get behind the wheel. We didn't want to do a warmed-over version of the last RS. We wanted a new level".
Don't take our word for it. Look at what Ken Block was able to do at the official launch.
Design, Form and Function combined
The design process meant that Ford went through five designs to get to the end stage, and everything on the new RS is only there because it has a purpose. Even the familiar air vents on the bonnet have gone as they were no longer a necessity.
The big bodywork changes are those all-new front and rear bumper units. With a deep splitter and an upper grille, the new front end is definitely bold. They have also maximised all possibilities for engine cooling with a wide mouth that has been emphasised with lower wings, and large outboard openings either side of the car, feeding the brake cooling ducts.
At the rear of the Focus RS there's the usual suspects of a distinctive roof spoiler with body-coloured side panels all complete with subtly embossed RS logo's. The rear is still dominated by a large diffuser, which optimises airflow and contains twin round high-performance exhaust outlets. That aero kit means no lift at either end, but it still uses the standard Focus bonnet as well as the front and rear wings to keep in line with the Focus range.
Looking at the side, the Mk2’s side vents with the integrated RS badging have also gone, but they have added new multi-spoke 19-inch RS alloy wheels. Finished in low-gloss black, the alloys have a high-performance lightweight forged design offering enhanced strength and impact resistance.
Inside the New Focus RS
On the inside, you'll find Ford's traditional hot-hatch favourites: Partial leather Recaro bucket sport seats, a flat-bottom steering wheel, alloy pedals and all the trimmings you'd expect.
The high-performance character of the Focus RS is definitely reflected on the inside the car, with a reworked control layout taken from the new Focus range, giving a much simpler, and more intuitive design. An additional set of gauges above the centre console displays turbocharger boost pressure, oil pressure and oil temperature.
Ford SYNC connectivity gives the driver access to audio, climate control, navigationl and mobile phones all via voice control. Also included is a HD 8-inch colour touch screen. Upgrades for Ford's new SYNC 2 system can include a rear view camera with park distance control, as well as an option to upgrade to a Sony premium sound system with 10-speakers including a subwoofer.
Focus RS - The journey to now
Back in 1992, Ford released the Escort RS Cosworth. A much loved, turbo charged, four-wheel drive, big-winged hot hatch which has become a fan favourite over time because of it's entire package of fun, function, design and of course performance.
Jump forward 24 years and Ford has released the new Focus RS, and there's no co-incidence that it's a turbo charged, four-wheel drive, big-winged hot hatch with a modern twist.
So the third generation of the Focus RS is here and it's aiming to be the hottest of the hot hatches and more than that, it's looking like it's going to be extremely powerful.
With Ken Block working alongside the team as a consultant, it's not surprising that the Focus RS has had such a focus on the stats. The Focus RS is coming in at over 345bhp due to the 2.3 litre turbo four cylinder engine. The four cylinder in the Focus is almost the same EcoBoost that's found in the nd in the new Mustang, but with some alterations including the new twin scroll turbo, a larger intercooler and an upgraded exhaust and radiator system.
Ford have said that the engine will rev happily to 6,800rpm, and promises that ‘the distinctive burbles, pops and crackles that are an RS signature' still remain.
Like the new Focus ST, the RS will only be available in a five-door setup and is available in one of four colours: Nitrous Blue, a vibrant four-coat metallic finish exclusive to RS, as well as Stealth Gray, Absolute Black and Frozen White.