Just don’t call it a hybrid.
Ford pulled the plug on its cars in the U.S., including the Focus hatchback and its hot RS sibling. But since the current Focus still lives on in Europe, the Blue Oval may actually be plugging in for the yet-to-be-announced, undoubtedly upcoming RS model. Joe Hinrichs, Ford's automotive president, hinted at as much in a recent interview.
Sitting down with Autocar, Hinrichs implied that a new Focus RS is on the way. Not only that, but he noted the company may very well dig into its repertoire of electrified powertrains in pursuit of performance. "The world is changing, and we have new powertrain options," Hinrichs notes. When pressed on the possibility of hybridization, he said "electrification" could be in the cards.
Before you jump the gun – no, a fully electric Focus RS probably won't happen. At least not within the next few years. But electrification could be a real option for the Focus moving forward. The only problem, Hinrichs notes, is finding the right buyers.
"The Prius set the standard by being marketed as a different kind of vehicle," he says in the interview. "But the job now is to get consumers to see hybridization as tried and tested technology, not a science project but the vehicle they love with a more efficient powertrain."
Gallery: 2016 Ford Focus RS
Already Ford has both mild-hybrid versions of the Focus and Fiesta planned in Europe for 2020. Both cars will use the same 1.0-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost paired with a belt-driven integrated starter/generator (BISG), with the Fiesta returning an estimated 48 miles per gallon and Focus getting up to 50 miles per gallon. Ford is also introducing mild-hybrid versions of the Transit and Transit Custom vans, too. So, an electrified Focus RS isn't that much of a long shot.