The next Ford Focus RS is in development ahead of a likely launch in 2016. These new spyshots show the hot Focus on test at the Nurburgring as engineers test the suspension set-up on the Nordschleife circuit.
Ford is planning the Focus RS as a send-off for the current-generation Focus hatchback. And as the hot hatch power war heats up, the RS is tipped to produce in excess of 300bhp.
Strange, then, that the 2016 Ford Focus will be available as a five-door only; there is no three-door Focus donor car to use this time round.
Click here for CAR magazine's last-generation Ford Focus RS review.
Ford Focus RS (2016): the engine room
Our sources suggest the fast Ford will get the 2.3-litre Ecoboost engine from the 2015 Mustang. Each generation of Focus RS has been turbocharged, making it relatively easy to pump up the boost and a Civic Type R trumping 330bhp is on the cards.
All that power is sent to the front wheels, and CAR understands that a proper limited slip differential is likely to be deployed to keep the torque under control.
The Ford Focus RS Mk1 was a legendary beast to handle and the violent helm tugging created by its Quaife diff became one of its signature traits. Engineers are sure to make the Mk3 a tamer companion.
A six-speed gearbox is planned. Ford did originally consider four-wheel drive for the Focus RS, but this was deemed to expensive and heavy.
Most modern-era fast Fords have been FWD since the disappearance of the Sierra Cosworth 4x4, and the Blue Oval’s not about to mess with its reputation for Everyman performance heroes.
How much will the new Ford Focus RS Mk3 cost?
Too early to say, really. The current crop of fast hatchbacks are fast nudging higher up the price ladder towards £30,000. We would predict a price tag in the UK beginning with a ‘2’.
The new Focus RS is destined to be a world car, as part of the One Ford mantra. Which means that the car you see here will be available to enthusiasts in the US, too.
>> CAR takes a look back at some of the best fast Fords