Ford is hardly wanting for hot hatches right now – it makes the Fiesta Red/Black edition, Fiesta ST, Focus ST and Focus RS. Despite its pockets bursting with powerful cars, the American marque is releasing a further pair of fast hatchbacks – the Focus Red and Black editions.
Slotting in above the Zetec S and below the ST, the Red and Black editions could be considered ‘diet’ versions of the proper ST and RS hot hatches. As you might expect, the Red comes in Race Red with black contrast elements and the Black in Panther Black with red elements. We’ve pulled out the five key things you need to know before they hit the market.
1. Faster versions of the Focus
This is the entry-level fast Focus. Those wanting more power would be better served by the ST and RS but, if you plan on having it as a daily runaround, the Red or Black might be perfect because its less powerful engine will be more fuel efficient and the power levels will be more manageable. There’s no confirmation on the engine yet but the 1.5-litre turbo petrol seems likely with somewhere between 148hp and 180hp.
2. They might get diesel power
Some motoring outlets are speculating that, like the updated Focus ST, the Red and Black will be offered with diesel power too. The Fiesta Red and Black aren’t currently available with diesels so this remains to be confirmed. If Ford decides to offer this option then the 1.5-litre or 2.0-litre diesels seem likely with between 118hp and 148hp.
3. It’s not just a powerful engine
Red and Black editions of the Fiesta didn’t just get a more powerful engine, they got some minor chassis and powertrain modifications to handle the extra power so we expect the Focus to get the same treatment. Stiffer and lower suspension – again, a halfway-house between standard and ST versions – keeps the car level in corners, the steering ratio is quickened to make the car turn into corners with more vigour and shorter gear ratios are fitted to make it accelerate faster.
4. Sporty interior elements
Ford can’t expect you to pay more for the Red or Black edition without giving little reminders here and there in the cabin that you’re in a hotter version. The centre console gets a new black finish, the black leather steering wheel, handbrake and gear knob gaiter get red contrast stitching. Black sports seats and floor mats also get red contrast stitching to really emphasise the red/black dichotomy – as if the paint wasn’t enough!
5. It’s only here because of the Fiesta
So why are the Focus Red and Black here? It’s all down to the Fiesta – Britain’s best selling car – which has been a massive success both critically and in terms of sales. Ford has sold 3,500 Fiesta Red or Blacks across Europe and half of all Zetec S models sold in the UK are Red or Black edition cars. Considering how outrageously successful that model has been, it was only natural that Ford would apply the same update to the Focus.
Get out of the Red and into the Black – or vice versa
So which would you take home? The Focus Red or the Focus Black? Or would you get the Fiesta Red/Black instead? Let us know in the comments section below. Then head over to our latest car deals page or our car configurator to see how much you could save on your next car.