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Ford previewed the all-new Ford Focus RS, a high-performance road car equipped with a 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine engineered to produce well in excess of 320 PS – it’s the latest vehicle to be unveiled as part of a new era of Ford performance that will bring more than 12 performance vehicles by 2020.
Developed by a small team of Ford Performance engineers in Europe and US, the new Focus RS is the third generation of Focus RS cars, following models launched in 2002 and 2009. It will be the 30th car to wear the legendary RS badge, following such technology trendsetters as the 16-valve 1970 Escort RS1600, the turbocharged Sierra RS Cosworth of 1985 with its radical aerodynamics, and the four-wheel-drive 1992 Escort RS Cosworth. The all-new Focus RS is the first ever RS model that will be sold around the world and will be produced for all markets at Ford’s Saarlouis, Germany, manufacturing plant beginning late this year.
Gymkhana and World Rallycross star Ken Block was brought on as a consultant on the all-new Focus RS and joined the Ford Performance team at the preview event in Cologne, Germany – the city where the RS legend was born in 1968 with the Ford 15M RS. The all-new Focus RS exploits the innovative new Ford Performance All-Wheel-Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring to deliver a new level of handling capability and driver enjoyment, combining outstanding traction and grip with unmatched agility and cornering speed. The AWD system has been tuned to deliver exceptional grip – with lateral acceleration exceeding 1 g – and class-leading cornering speed and acceleration out of a bend. With neutral and adjustable limit handling, and the ability to achieve controlled oversteer drifts at the track; the Focus RS delivers the ultimate fun-to-drive experience.
Ford’s EcoBoost technology powers the Focus RS and nearly every new Ford vehicle. The specially engineered 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine has levels of power and torque that translate into impressive acceleration when combined with the exceptional AWD traction. Projected to deliver well in excess of 320 PS, the bespoke unit shares its fundamental structure with the all-aluminium four-cylinder 2.3-litre engine in the all-new Mustang. This engine has, however, been significantly upgraded through a comprehensive package of design changes. Increased output is generated by a new low-inertia twin-scroll turbocharger with larger compressor that delivers significantly greater air flow, along with a much bigger intercooler to maximise charge density.
Inspiring performance demands an inspiring soundtrack. Ford Performance engineers have tuned the RS to deliver a rewarding and sporty sound character during spirited driving, with the distinctive burbles, pops and crackles that are a RS signature. Based on the new Focus, the RS features a powerful new front-end appearance with a bold upper trapezoidal grille above the deep front splitter, incorporating the largest possible apertures for engine cooling. A wide, muscular stance is emphasised by the lower wings and large outboard openings on each side of the car, which feed the brake cooling ducts and house vertically-mounted fog lamps.
At the rear, the fascia panel is dominated by the exceptionally large diffuser, which optimises air flow from under the vehicle to reduce drag, and contains the twin round high-performance exhaust outlets and, in Europe and Asia, a clear central fog lamp. The distinctive rear roof spoiler is carefully integrated with the car’s silhouette through body-coloured side panels featuring a subtle embossed RS logo. The dynamic side-profile is emphasised by sculptured rocker panels, and the bold wheel lips that house a choice of multi-spoke 19-inch RS alloy wheels – including a high-performance lightweight forged design finished in low-gloss black, which offers enhanced strength and impact resistance with weight savings of 1 kg per wheel.
Throughout the cabin, the distinctive blue RS theme is echoed through stitching on the seats, steering wheel, floor mats and interior trim, the coloured graphic on the gear shifter, and via the RS logo itself, which is proudly displayed on the seats, steering wheel and door scuff plates.
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