Production of the current Ford Focus RS ends April 6, but there might not be a long wait for the next one. A new report from Autocar suggests the Blue Oval's hottest hatchback could arrive as soon as 2020. It also reiterates rumors that the new RS could get a hybrid powertrain.
The 2020 Focus RS would allegedly retain the existing model's 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, and additional tuning might slightly boost its output. The bigger improvement would come from a mild hybrid setup consisting of an 48-volt electrical system and integrated starter-generator. In total, the system would reportedly be good for over 400 horsepower (298 kilowatts) and 425 pound-feet (576 Newton-meters) of torque. The only available gearbox might be a dual-clutch automatic, though.
The hybrid system could bring other driving advantages, too. According to Autocar, Ford might engineer the tech to contribute a boost of power during gear changes, so that there would never be a lull in torque delivery. The integrated starter-generator could also add oomph from a launch.
The new Focus should weigh around 110 pounds (50 kilograms) less than the current one. However, the hybrid equipment would add weight back onto the RS, so it might not be much lighter than the existing model.
If these rumored figures are correct, then the Focus RS will have similar specs as Mercedes-Benz's next-gen A45. The German brand's hot hatch will use a brand new 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder with over 400 hp. An overhauled all-wheel-drive system will reportedly takes cues from the E63 S' tech that will allow for a rear-wheel-drive mode.
The standard version of the fourth-gen Focus will debut on April 10, and sales will begin in Europe before the end of the year. It won't arrive in the United States until mid-2019, and production for these examples will take place in China.