Ford Performance is busy working on new models. The 2016 Focus RS is just one of 12 performance vehicles we’ll see from this specialty shop, the third generation and most powerful RS ever.
The 2016 Ford Focus RS may be the fastest mainstream compact model on the market. And with Ford having completed its most recent testing, those speed numbers have never been better.
Indeed, the Ford Motor Company says that the all-new Focus RS will go from 0-to-62 mph (100 km/h) in just 4.7 seconds. That’s faster than quite a few cars that cost far more and are much larger. Further, the Focus RS has a top speed of 165 mph (265.5 km/h) for this all-wheel drive wonder car.
Focus RS Performance and Pricing Set
North American pricing has been set at US$36,605. The special turbocharged 2.3-liter, four-cylinder engine makes an even 350 horsepower (261 kW) and 350 foot-pounds of torque (474.5 n.m.). It is the same engine found in the Ford Mustang, but it benefits from a few modifications, including a larger turbocharger, improved flow air intake, and an enhanced exhaust system. Thus, the engine offers a 10 percent power boost over the Mustang and comes paired with a 6-speed manual transmission.
The new hatchback has already gone on sale in Europe and will arrive in North America next spring. Built in Saarlouis, Germany, the Focus RS represents just one of 12 new performance vehicles Ford has promised us over the next five years. The Focus RS is also the 30th car to wear the illustrious RS badge. Moreover, it is the fastest RS model built yet, following on the heels of the first (2002) and second (2009) generation models.
“The all-new Focus RS will bring the legendary nameplate to a new generation of global customers for the first time,” said Dave Pericak, director, Ford Performance. “Focus RS delivers stunning performance and innovative technology at a price that will make both enthusiast consumers and premium automakers look twice.”
A Need for Speed
To reach its 100 km/h speed threshold, drivers will need to rely upon the hot hatchback’s launch control system. That arrangement is featured in the cluster setup; when selected the driver will choose first gear, apply full throttle, then release the clutch.
Launch control adjusts the car’s chassis and powertrain system to propel the Focus RS to its goal. Drivers are aided by a performance shift light (also located in the instrument panel) to shift upward at points of 5,900 RPM. If the driver red lines the vehicle at 6,800 RPM, then the light flashes.
Dynamic All-Wheel Drive System
The Ford Performance all-wheel drive system makes use of a pair of electronically controlled clutch packs to oversee the RS’ front to rear torque split. It is also tasked with controlling side-to-side torque distribution at the rear axle for optimum torque vectoring capability. The outcome is improved driver handling and cornering stability satisfaction.
Four different driver selected driving modes are at the ready with each mode impacting the all-wheel drive system, damper controls, stability control, steering feedback, engine response, and the exhaust note. Normal, sport and track settings are the usual suspects here, but it may be the fourth mode, drift, that will pique the interest of enthusiasts the most. This mode provides controlled oversteer on the track or wherever else it is safe to drift.
Give Us More, Ford Performance!
Certainly, the RS is the preeminent Ford Focus, a vehicle that offers a compelling alternative to the Ford Mustang for some performance aficionados. Both vehicles are far different, but when outfitted to the teeth, the Ford Performance side of the house has never shone brighter. Other models will soon follow, including the state-of-the-art Ford GT, the most powerful Ford product ever.
Photo courtesy of the Ford Motor Company.