Ford Focus RS

Before it even turns a wheel, the new Focus RS exudes the presence, sporty style and lowered, meaner appearance expected of a genuine Ford RS. Overt performance styling details mix with subtle revisions to create a planted, powerful stance and the promise of an exciting drive.

The London show car previews the design intent for a final production vehicle, though as development work continues, some final details may change before volume production begins.

The vehicle is finished in a special bright green paint with inlaid metallic flake, a striking, modern interpretation of the 1970s Le Mans Green of the Escort RS1600 era.

The vibrant exterior color is contrasted with a number of performance styling details highlighted in gloss piano black, including the strip at the leading edge of the bonnet, the deep housings for the integrated front fog lamps and door mirrors with integrated side indicators.

Front and rear quarter panels have been revised to incorporate wider wheel arches and a wider track, complemented by revised, deeper side rocker mouldings. In another visual reminder of the cars performance potential, triangular, RS-badged vents sit behind the front wheel arches. Two classic-style bonnet louvres are both a styling hint at the power beneath and a practical requirement, maintaining correct system temperatures.

The completely new front bumper design for Focus RS incorporates a deep front airdam with a large, mesh lower grille in an extended trapezoid. Stylish and practical, this prominent feature represents the latest Ford 'kinetic design' face and also is finished in piano black. Above, chromed xenon headlamps stand out like cats eyes and are framed by matt-black housings with unique additional vents running underneath.

At the rear, a deep new rear bumper incorporates a large venturi tunnel to its lower edge with small vents at each corner of the bumper, emphasizing the cars width. Two impressive chromed exhaust tailpipes sit each side of the black venturi, creating a purposeful rear view for the car.

Above, a unique, twin-element, black RS rear spoiler sits at the Focus RS roofline, echoing both RS models of the past and the World Rally-winning Focus WRC that has been its inspiration.

Inside, this theme continues with a unique and appropriately performance-oriented interior, dominated by bespoke, sculpted Recaro high-performance sports seats, specially designed and trimmed for excellent support, even when driving enthusiastically. Each is color-matched to the exterior, with ebony leather accents and RS and Recaro logos stitched into each backrest.

Elsewhere, color brings new excitement to the Focus interior, building on the sporty interior theme of Focus ST with more use of accents matched to the exterior color, brushed aluminium highlights and overt performance styling. Even the rear seats feature higher side bolsters and a microfibre finish to echo those up front.

The centre console is finished in a stylish gloss, carbon-look trim and metallic highlights abound, from air vents, door grab handles, switchgear and gearshift surround, to unique RS-branded scuff plates on the door sills. These highlights contrast with a black-trimmed roof lining, emphasizing the sporty, cockpit feel.

The driver is reminded this is a special Focus at every touch, with a gear lever finished with a six speed gear shift graphic in RS blue, a sporty, three-spoke steering wheel, finished with Ford and RS logos and even aluminium foot pedals. The performance driving environment is completed by three additional gauges from the Focus ST, including turbo pressure, sitting atop the centre console and angled toward the drivers eyeline.

At the heart of the all-new Focus RS is a specially developed, turbocharged version of the Duratec 2.5-litre 5-cylinder engine. Significantly revised for high performance, this powerplant is targeting an impressive power output of 300PS and over 410Nm of torque, contributing to an excellent power-to-weight ratio.

Such significant increases are not simply the result of altering engine management or boost pressure: starting with the Duratec 2.5-litre block, Ford RS engineers developed unique camshafts, a revised cylinder head and gasket and revised intake and manifold system for the car.

A genuine Focus RS must maintain and enhance the reputation for responsive, precise handling for which Focus is acclaimed and considerable engineering effort has ensured that the new Focus RS will do just that.

Driving quality developments for Focus RS include a 40mm wider track, stronger, longer driveshafts, revised springs and dampers and a thicker, longer rear anti-roll bar. At the same time, the steering system has been retuned to provide an even sharper steering response and very precise feedback.

Brakes also have been uprated, with 336mm ventilated front discs and 300mm rear discs generating vice-like stopping power on road or track. Large calipers peek out from behind unique 19-inch wheels, wrapped in 235/35 low profile Continental tires.

A special version of Fords ESP system has also been developed for Focus RS, designed to allow a very sporty driving style before activating. Intensive work to refine the natural handling abilities of the car has allowed the ESP system to carry a full de-activation option for enthusiast drivers and especially for track use.

Source: Ford press

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