Ford have confirmed the rally car-inspired Focus RS superhatch for production, releasing this first teaser photo ahead of its 2008 expected premiere, the model following in the footsteps of its original RS and RS Cosworth Escort predecessors.

Ford have finally confirmed the rally car-inspired Focus RS superhatch for production, releasing this first official teaser photo ahead of a concept version due mid 2008, perhaps at London's British Motor Show. The model follows in the footsteps of predecessors the original RS and RS Cosworth Escort. Caught earlier this year doing the development rounds on the Nurburgring, the RS hot hatch is set to re-draw the line between performance and value.

Power will come from a modified version of Volvo's turbocharged 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine with power produced expected at 280 hp and torque of 400 lb.-ft, propelling the RS somewhat beyond that of the 225 hp ST model. The RS will face tough competition from that of the new Mitsubishi Evo X and Subaru Impreza STi.

Expected performance upgrades include the stiffening and lowering of suspension as well as upgraded brakes, while exterior design features will get a significant upgrade from 'kinetic' to 'racy'. Styling enhancements will include blistered wheel arches, bonnet air vents, new wings and spoilers - the interior boasting a sportier, more coseted environment. All the enhancements will bid to give the RS as much ethos aesthetically as it will deliver dynamically.

The production model Focus RS is set debut in 2009 following a concept version the year before - stay tuned for further details.

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