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Capito is well established in the automotive world, starting as a development engineer for BMW’s high-performance engines. He went on to work for Porsche and to become the Chief Operating Officer of the Sauber Red Bull Formula 1 team. Capito joined Ford in 2001 where he helped develop SVT and RS variants. Capito is also credited with the success of the revo knuckle front suspension that can be found on the second generation Focus RS.
His history in both racing and in performance automobiles should help Capito boost the Volkswagen Motorsports teams to a new level. He will presumably be heading VW’s WRC efforts for the coming years, but hopefully will also get a chance to help out with the GTI and R models upcoming from VW.
High Performance Vehicle Boss Confirms The Sad News
Several weeks ago we ran a few photos of a Ford Focus RS that was spotted in a suburb of Detroit. This of course led to speculation that FoMoCo was planning to bring its amazing hot hatch to the U.S.
Sadly, a Ford exec has confirmed that the RS will not make its way stateside. And to kill any hope for those still holding on to it, the executive just so happens to be Jost Capito, the new head of Ford’s global performance division.
Capito told the U.K.’s AutoCar that, “We’d like to, but the base car isn’t homologated for North America and that’s too costly a job to carry out just for a niche vehicle like the RS.”
That means North American consumers will continue to miss out on the aggressively styled Focus, which boasts a turbocharged five-cylinder engine with 295hp and 302 ft-lbs of torque.
Rally legend Marcus Grönholm will attempt to set record with sub 10 minute pass
In an attempt to drum-up interest in the launch of the Fiesta in North America, Ford is putting on a serious publicity stunt by running two 800 horsepower versions of the economy car in the legendary Pikes Peak race.
Ford is eager to appeal not just to econonomically-minded individuals with the Fiesta sub-compact, but also to enthusiasts as it attempts to set a Pike Peak record with a sub-10 minute run up the mountain.
To do this not only will Olsbergs Motor Sport Evolution race team owner Andreas Eriksson be piloting one of the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder Fiesta racers, but so will rally legend Marcus Grönholm. In World Rally Championship competition Grönholm has won 30 races and clinched the championship twice.
Both Eriksson and Grönholm will certainly need all 800 horses when they take on the 12.4-mile, 156-turn dirt and tarmac climb on July 19th.
“We’re pleased to have a top independent team like Olsbergs MSE coming to the U.S. with their Fiesta Rallycross cars to take on the challenge of Pike’s Peak,” said Brian Wolfe, director, Ford North America Motorsports. “This will be a great chance for enthusiasts here to see in this unique setting what a lot of the rest of the world is already talking about – that the Fiesta is a great road car and a great race car.”
Ford Motor Company’s director of Global Motorsport Business Development, Jost Capito, said: “The Pike’s Peak event is another step forward for the new Ford Fiesta as a core vehicle in Ford’s future global motorsport aspirations. We’re looking forward to seeing Andreas and Marcus in action on this unique event.”
GALLERY: Olsbergs Motor Sport Evolution Ford Fiesta Rallycross
Official release after the jump: