New Ford Focus RS hot hatch confirmed

Published: 11 December 2014

It’s been a while coming – the last one was launched in 2009 – but it’s been confirmed today that a new Ford Focus RS is on the way.

Not entirely a surprise, that – we captured a prototype RS pounding round the Nordschleife on camera back in July – but it’s good to hear nonetheless. After all, the previous-gen Focus RS was seriously fast, entirely unsubtle and generally a bit of a hoot.

Read CAR’s spyshot story on the 2016 Ford Focus RS here.

Any specifics on the new Ford Focus RS?

As expected, the all-new RS will be sold globally for the first time as part of the ‘One Ford’ business philosophy.

Other than that, Ford hasn’t revealed much more – we’ll have to wait a little longer for expected launch dates, specs and likely prices. Raj Nair, Ford’s global product development vice president says the new Focus RS ‘has to be a no-compromise driver’s car’ with ‘exceptional performance on the track.’ So it ought to be quite potent.

What we do know is that when it lands in 2016 it’s likely to drive its front wheels rather than all four (for weight and cost reasons), with the 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine from the 2015 Mustang a probable power source. Given the ever-skyward power outputs of the latest hot hatches, we’d be surprised if its power output didn’t start with a number lower than ‘three.’

It’ll likely represent a swansong for the current-gen Focus.

New Ford Performance organisation

The Focus RS will come under the umbrella of a new branch of the Ford group called Ford Performance, also announced today.

The newly created sub-group brings together Ford’s Team RS, SVT (Special Vehicle Team) and Ford Racing departments under one heading. Between them, they’ll beaver away research into aerodynamics, weight-reduction, electronics, powertrain performance and fuel efficiency gains that can be applied to all Ford models, from high-end performance cars to shopping trolleys. The department will also create ‘unique performance vehicles, parts, accessories and experiences for customers’, says Ford.

This can only be good news; with Ford shifting to a one-size-fits-all global cars for global markets approach, it’s important that the cars don’t lose the kind of fun-to-drive nature that’s made the likes of the Fiesta such a hit.

Ford Performance will be conducted from a new technical centre in Charlotte, North Carolina as well as Ford’s other engineering centres around the world. Global Director of Ford Performance will be Dave Pericak, chief engineer of the 2015 Ford Mustang GT.

What this means from a new car perspective is a greater number of fast Fords sold around the world – Ford states that more than 12 new performance models are planned to be made available globally between now and 2020.

According to Ford, performance car sales are growing around the world, with sales of hotted-up models in Europe up by 14 percent since 2009. Good news for enthusiasts, surely?

Click here for CAR magazine's last-generation Ford Focus RS review.

By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, automotive design graduate, Radical champ