Hold your breath, cross those fingers and hop on one foot because it sounds like Ford is serious about releasing a new Focus RS.
Speaking with U.K. magazine AutoExpress, Ford’s European COO Barb Samardzich said there is a “strong desire” to build the model and that Ford understand that such a model would serve as a standout halo product. Furthermore, AE reports that a Ford spokesman said the company has a rich heritage in RS cars and that it isn’t about to be overtaken by any competitors in that regard.
Recently, the company has been busy developing its One Ford global product strategy. For example, Ford plans to sell its Fiesta-based EcoSport sub-compact crossover in 62 countries by 2017 compared to the 10 it sold in during 2012. Massive product pushes like that tend to divert resources from less lucrative, lower volume projects.
When it begins arriving for the 2015 model year, the Mustang will be marketed as a global vehicle for the first time in its 50-year history. Some of the changes for the new generation include an independent rear suspension and – more importantly – a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. In the Mustang, that engine will make 305 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque, but the same mill could work its way into a new RS version of the Focus. Tuning it to make more than that won’t be difficult for Ford and past rumors suggest that the company would push closer to 350 hp.
And if the company does intend to defend its position, a new Focus RS seem like a necessity considering Honda is practically on the cusp of revealing its new Civic Type-R. The Japanese giant already said it is developing that car to be the fastest front-driver around the Nurburgring, which indicates that the bar is going to be high for front-wheel drive performance European performance cars. Traditionally, those models have been reserved for Europe, but Ford’s global strategy and a successful reception for the Focus ST could make the difference in convincing the company to finally offer its most exciting hot hatch here as well.
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