New Ford Focus RS promises affordable thrills

  • AFP
  • Updated: Feb 05, 2015 16:22 IST

Ford is on a mission to remind everyone that in addition to its mass-market cars, it can also build proper, seat-of-the-pants sportscars that offer wonderful performance no matter how big or small a potential owner's wallet.

And the new Ford Focus RS, unveiled at a special event in Germany on Tuesday, essentially screams affordability and performance. And if it really can deliver the figures that Ford is quoting, there really will be something to shout about.

The most important feature coming to the new car is all-wheel drive. Past RS Focuses have had front-wheel drive and clever differentials to limit torque steer but for the new car, there's no messing about.

The four-wheel-drive system is smart: it can put more or less power to the front or the back wheels -- so it will feel like a proper rear-wheel drive sports car albeit one with extraordinary grip levels. And when being thrown into the corners, that power will be pushed to the wheels on one side of the car or the other to keep things planted.

The engine that will be sending power to different wheels is the 2.3-liter EcoBoost unit that is already finding its way into Ford Mustangs, and its output -- 316bhp -- is substantially less than that of the engine that powered the last RS Focus.

However, the new car is much lighter and, thanks to better turbocharging, promises to be very responsive. Just how responsive, Ford won't be saying until Geneva where the car will be heading for its official unveiling on March 2.

Then and only then will the company be announcing 0-100km/h times, torque figures and top speeds. But considering the amount of competition in the hot hatch market, they have to be impressive.

However, one very vital statistic has been confirmed, this snarling Rally-inspired sportscar with room for two in the back and all of their luggage will cost less than £30,000 when it goes on sale.

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