The next-generation Ford Focus RS (previous generation pictured) is reportedly under development. A highly popular model in Europe as well as here in Australia, the next RS will pack even more power than the current one.
According to a report by AutoExpress, the new super hot-hatch will employ an enlarged 261kW (350hp) 2.3-litre version of Ford’s four-cylinder EcoBoost engine when it hits the market in 2014.
Ford has resisted taking the easy path of bolting on a larger turbo to the Focus ST’s 184kW 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine.
“If it [the turbo] is too big, and capable of too much power, you lose bottom-end torque and response”, said Len Urwin of the RS’ development tem, Team RS.
The new Focus RS will continue to be a front-driver, like the previous generation, due to its cost and weight benefits.
The question is how Team RS will rein in the extra 37kW to the front wheels, when the previous generation, although impressive for a front driver, was still a handful to launch. The solution might come in the form of a sophisticated active differential.
“You could drop a mechanical diff in, as we did with the old Focus RS, but an E-diff would take that a step forward in that you can really optimise traction in all situations,” said Urwin.
If the RS can channel such power to the ground, it could well hammer even the 257kW (345hp) limited-production RS 500’s 5.4-seconds 0-100km/h time!
Like the previous RS, the transmission of choice is a six-speed H-pattern manual, although an uprated PowerShift dual-clutch gearbox is also under consideration.
“There is a trend to go to dual-clutch, but they are heavier. Whether we should have a manual and a PowerShift is still up for debate”, said Chris Caven of Team RS.
Also for the first time in the RS’ history, a five-door body style is likely, in line with all other third-generation Focus.
The previous Focus RS was available in limited numbers in Australia, 315 to be precise. There is a fair chance that the new generation will also be brought in as a limited edition.