New Ford Focus RS pictures and specs revealed

Ford has revealed the four drive modes owners will be able to select in the new Focus RS. The company has also released an explanatory video with a demonstration from ex-Stig and former SAS driving instructor, Ben Collins.

Ford says the four modes will deliver a vehicle that’s better suited to a range of situations. The control switch is located beside the gear lever and allows you to cycle through the modes with the selection displayed on the screen between the dials. The four modes are…

Normal

This is most appropriate setting for normal on-road driving. Everything from the four-wheel-drive system, suspension, steering, engine tune, stability control and exhaust note have all been tuned to be as soft as possible, making the car easier to drive over long distances.

Sport

Drivers get a choice of four modes to suit their mood

For times of more spirited driving, Sport mode can be selected and brings a more responsive throttle and heavier steering. A valve in the exhaust also opens giving the RS a more encouraging soundtrack. This is still well suited to on-road use, not just track work.

Track

Ford recommends this high performance setting for track use only. While Sport mode keeps a few vehicle settings in normal mode, Track turns all the controls to their sportiest setting – bringing out the RS’s best performance. Stability control intervention is reduced and can be switched off altogether – if you’re feeling brave.

Drift

The Focus RS’ drift mode has a unique setting for the four-wheel-drive system

This is perhaps the most anticipated of all the modes. This unique setting, designed for track use only, allows the driver to perform controlled oversteer drifts – deliberately sliding the car through a corner. This mode brings a unique four-wheel drive setting that shuffles the engine’s torque between the rear wheels. The steering and suspension revert back to their normal setting, helping the car feel less twitchy when driving on the limit.

Ford Focus RS performance figures revealed

The new Ford Focus RS will get from 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds and is now available to order for as a little as £28,940 – making it one of the fastest pound for pound performance cars you can get for the money. The latest information was revealed as the covers were pulled of the car at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

That rapid acceleration comes thanks Ford’s all-wheel-drive (AWD) system, launch control technology and a 345hp engine that pushes it to an impressive top speed of 165mph. Dynamic Torque Vectoring should mean it is no slouch in the corners.

The addition of launch control means RS drivers will be able to perform perfect standing starts time after time, and irrespective of road conditions. The driver selects Launch Control from the cluster menu, engages first gear, applies full throttle and then releases the clutch.

From there the clever tech distributes torque through the AWD system, while managing the traction control and the car’s dampers to provide optimal traction. Meanwhile, a shift light tells the driver when to change gear for optimum acceleration, before the car hits its 6,800rpm rev limiter. 

Once underway, the AWD system can send power to which ever of the the four wheels has most grip by monitoring them 100 times a second. RS drivers can select four different drive modes – Normal, Sport, Track and Drift. The latter should make it easy to slide the car round corners, something that has been demonstrated more than once in Ford’s promotional videos. Including in the latest film below.

The 2.3-litre four-cylinder petrol engine comes straight from the entry level Ford Mustang, but is tuned to be 10 per cent more powerful thanks to a new turbocharger, revised air intake and big-bore sports exhaust. Maximum torque sits at 325Ib ft, but an over-boost function delivers a further 22Ib ft for 15-second bursts of acceleration.

“The all-new Focus RS delivers stunning performance and innovative technology at a price that will make both our customers and premium automakers look twice. after experiencing the acceleration and cornering capability of the Focus RS, drivers will question the sense in spending almost £10,000 more on a premium competitor”, said Jürgen Gagstatter chief program engineer for the car.

The 30th car to wear the RS badge, the Focus RS will be built in Germany and is one of 12 new performance vehicles that will go on sale by 2020. Ford expects delivery to European customers from early 2016.

The car was joined on the stand in by other Ford Performance models including the all-new Ford GT supercar, Focus ST, and the infinitely loveable Fiesta ST.

The making of the Ford Focus RS

Ford has documented the design and development of the new Focus RS in the form of weekly documentaries. We’ve posted Ford’s ‘Rebirth of an Icon’ series below…

Part 1 – Kicking off the project

Ken Block visits a top-secret Ford testing facility in Michigan to test drive an early Focus RS prototype.

Part 2 – Design and development

Crash-testing a pre-production Focus RS in preparation for the model going on sale in 2016.

Part 3 – Hitting the road

The Ford team takes development cars on a gruelling 1000-mile road trip over mountains and across deserts from the Rockies to Arizona.

Part 4 – Test track trials

Ken Block returns to put the Ford Focus RS through its paces once again.

Part 5 – Arctic Extremes

The new Focus RS undergoes extreme cold-weather testing.

Part 6 – Power struggle

The Ford manufacturing plant in Saarlouis, Germany, gears up for production.

Part 7 – Close scrutiny

The Ford Focus RS is finally signed-off.

Ford Focus RS (updated 25 June ’15)

The hotly anticipated Ford Focus RS will be powered by a 2.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 345hp and 347lb ft of torque.

Up until now the company would only admit the new model had  “more than” 316hp. The public gets their first chance to see the RS in action at 2015’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.

These impressive figures mean the RS is now the model to beat when it comes to powerful hatchbacks based on normal family cars. The Honda Civic Type R, which was five years in the making, ‘only’ produces 306hp and has front-wheel drive against the Focus’ super-grippy four-wheel-drive setup. As a result, the RS gets from 0-62mph in just 4.9 seconds, while the Type R takes 5.7 seconds to hit the benchmark figure.

Meanwhile, the Mercedes A45 AMG (with 355hp, although it could get more) and the new Audi RS3 Sportback (362hp) have the power (and the four-wheel-drive systems) to compete with the Ford, but come complete with huge price tags of close to £40,000. The Ford is set to cost more like £30,000.

By the sounds of it, the RS could also be more fun to drive than either of its German rivals. While they deliver their power with little drama, the Ford’s four-wheel-drive system comes with a ‘drift’ button that should put a smile on your face when the opportunity presents itself. Proof of that can be seen in the video below that was released by Ford earlier this year.

To help rein in all that power, the RS comes with uprated brakes, lower and stiffer suspension and steering that has been tuned to give the driver better feel, so it’s easier to gauge how much grip the front wheels have.

As you’ve probably noticed, it also gets a dramatic aero package with a ground-hugging front bumper, side skirts, a massive roof-mounted spoiler and a huge rear defuser. The large twin exhaust pipes aren’t just for show – they also let the RS sound as good as it looks.

After its dynamic debut at Goodwood, the new RS is set to go on sale in mid-2016.

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