2016 Ford Focus RS May Lead to Faster RS500 Version
Few performance cars deliver on all fronts with little to no downsides; the all-new 2016 Ford Focus RS however appears to be one such car. It’s powerful, it’s fast, it’s more than reasonably practical, and it costs just $35,900. Have your cake and eat it too. But if the latest reports hold water, an even more potent version could be on the way and bearing a rather familiar name—a new Ford Focus RS500. The “RS500” moniker first adorned a Ford in the late ‘80s, beginning with the Ford Sierra RS500 homologation special, which allowed the Blue Oval to take its speedy saloon car racing. Its second arrival would occur in 2011 with the spicy Ford Focus RS500—a 345 hp matte black heavy hitter built in super low numbers. Now, Australia’s Motor magazine reports that Ford’s big whigs are mulling over a new iteration, and gauging its viability on the reception of the all-new 2016 Focus RS. RELATED: See More of the All-New 2016 Ford Focus RS
But whereas previous versions of the RS500 featured big leaps in horsepower, Motor claims the version currently in development would be more of an exercise in saving weight, than extra oomph. Areas for cutting heft include new carbon fiber reinforced plastic body panels, lightweight aluminum suspension components, a reduction in noise insulation and interior components, plus the all-important fade-free carbon ceramic brakes.
Further, the report suggests the 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine beneath the Focus RS is said to be nearly tapped out for extra horsepower (it currently generates 350 hp), limited in part by engine cooling. In addition to a weight reduction, the RS500 would aim to apply its given horsepower more precisely to the road surface via features like an electronically-controlled front differential, Powershift twin-clutch automatic gearbox, stickier tire compounds, and as Autoblog points out, carbon fiber wheels (à la the Shelby GT350R).
Of course, such an RS500 has not been confirmed by Ford officially, and given that the standard RS is now just launching, we likely won’t know about the RS500 for some time.
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Interestingly, Ford’s new hot-hot RS hatchback could actually improve the performance of the hallowed Ford Mustang as well, though admittedly that may seem backwards.
Hidden within Car and Driver’s deep dive into the zesty Focus RS is a note that implies Ford will implement some of its development technology from the Ford Focus RS program back into its mid-range Mustang EcoBoost pony car.
The sporty pair share the same the 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine (albeit in different configurations). Among the tuning knowhow gleaned from the RS development program is a higher effective fuel cutoff level and of course, more horsepower. In the Mustang, the turbocharged four-cylinder creates just 310 hp.
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