2016 Ford Focus RS previewed

2016 Ford Focus RS

Ford has given us a preview of its third generation Focus RS. It goes into production later this year and will be built in Germany. And, yes, it is coming to Australia!

The all-new Focus RS will be powered by a 2.3 litre EcoBoost engine pumping out “well in excess of 320PS”. That’s 235kW in modern lingo.

All that power to the front wheels will be a bt stupid won’t it? Well, yes, it appears Ford’s engineers have given up trying to tame big horsepower front-wheel drive hot hatches. This time the Focus RS will boast an all-wheel drive system. But not just any old AWD system, no, this one will be special, Ford claims. It’s best to just go straight to their press guff:

The Ford Performance AWD system is based on twin electronically-controlled clutch packs on each side of the rear drive unit. These manage the car’s front/rear torque split, and also can control the side-to-side torque distribution on the rear axle – delivering the “torque vectoring” capability, which has a dramatic impact on handling and cornering stability.

The control unit in the rear drive unit continuously varies the front/rear and side-to-side torque distribution to suit the current driving situation, monitoring inputs from multiple vehicle sensors 100 times per second. A maximum of 70 per cent of the drive torque can be diverted to the rear axle. Up to 100 per cent of the available torque at the rear axle can be sent to each rear wheel.

“This AWD system is a breakthrough technology, capable of delivering supreme cornering and handling at the limit,” said Dave Pericak, director, Global Ford Performance. “We have ripped up the rulebook which says that AWD hatchbacks cannot be fun to drive, and have created a car which will surprise and reward in equal measure.”

The new Focus RS will officially debut in Geneva next month.

Audi Ford MINI Renault Video

Is the MINI JCW GP2 the new hot hatch king?

MINI John Cooper Works GP

The new MINI John Cooper Works GP has arrived in Australia and it might be about to kick a few goals down under. That’s certainly the case if this video from Evo magazine is anything to go by. Perhaps for local relevance the cars they tested the GP2 against are not very worthy, but as an outright measure of capability this surely has to stack up.

Against the MINI we see two former greats tackle two new hot hatches. From Ford we have the awesome looking Focus RS 500, while Renault provides the track-day special Megane R26.R. Two excellent cars that serve to provide a handy benchmark. To see if they can beat the old timers the MINI was joined by the limited-edition Audi A1 quattro.

Okay, we’ve probably already given away the result but it won’t make the clip any less enjoyable. And you can have the GP2 in your garage for around $60K. Not bad, huh?

[Thanks to Wayne for the tip]

Ford Volkswagen

VIDEO: Volkswagen Scirocco R v Ford Focus RS

Here is an old review from Autocar comparing the Scirocco R and Ford Focus RS. It first appeared on AUSmotive back in November 2009.

At the time neither car was available in Australia. However, the Focus RS has been on sale down under since late last year—don’t believe the hype, either, there’s still plenty for sale. Of course, we now know the Scirocco R will be in Australia early next year.

So, then, with renewed relevance, let’s take a look at what seasoned reviewer Steve Sutcliffe thought when he drove the two cars back to back.


Ford Focus RS photo gallery

Ford Focus RS

Last week we learned Ford Australia will be importing 315 Focus RS models into Australia. They’re asking $60K plus on roads etc and Ford expect the RS to be here by October, or thereabouts. Word on the street is around half of the cars will be in the lairy Ultimate Green paint scheme, with the remainder split evenly between Performance Blue and Frozen White.

To help get Blue Oval fans in the mood a gallery of images featuring Ultimate Green and Performance Blue models can be seen after the break. If you want to see what the Frozen White looks like CLICK HERE.


Dark art

Ford Focus RS500

Local fans of the Blue Oval’s finest hot hatch will have to endure more misery with the announcement of this cooking Focus RS500 model. Ford Australia, in their wisdom, have decided that we cannot buy Ford Focus RS. Sure we can get the Focus XR5 (ST), but if Volkswagen is willing to offers  its top-end Golf R in addition to its iconic GTI, why won’t Ford play ball also? Of course, that means there is virtually no chance of ever seeing the hot RS500 down under.

In fact, its so damn hot it has chargrilled itself into a very stealth, and very awesome, matt black finish. It’s a combination of Panther Black duco and a specially designed film, described by Ford as being a”foil” finish and has been developed in conjunction with 3M.

It used to be said that 200 horsepower was the maximum amount you could put through a front-driver before things got a bit hectic. Ford have already thrown the rule book out with the 2.5 litre Duratec inline five cylinder found in the regular RS. But this 500 model, throws the rule book even further away with peak power of 350PS. That’s an impressive 15 per cent gain over the “garden-variety’ RS, if there could ever be such a thing. Torque has been boosted as well, up 20Nm to a new peak of 460Nm.

Gains have been made via the usual route for hi-po turbocharged engines, with tweaks such as a more free-flowing exhaust system—including larger downpipe, uprated intercooler, better air intake, revised high-pressure fuel pump and a new ECU tune to maximise those mods. Gunnar Herrmann, Ford’s global C-car vehicle line director says, “The engine’s improved breathing has allowed us to increase power without having to raise turbo boost pressure significantly. This has made it possible to enhance peak performance while maintaining the excellent driveability, fuel consumption and emissions of the standard Focus RS.”

Fifth Gear Ford

Fifth Gear drives 2009 Ford Focus RS

Jason Plato from Fifth Gear has been handed a set of keys to the new Focus RS. It’s a pretty wild looking thing, and with 300bhp (225kW) powering the front wheels it sounds like a recipe for disaster. However, thanks to its tricky RevoKnuckle suspension system, which maximises grip, Ford seems to think everything will be okay.

So, it loses marks for lime green paint. It loses marks for hamfisted naming of its technology. But does the Focus RS lose any marks for the driving experience? Not on Jason Plato’s shift, it doesn’t.

Find out more about the Focus RS by downloading this PDF (724kb) or by checking our the website.