Almost buried this week amidst all the talk at the Frankfurt Motor Show about new Civics, Bentley SUVs and electric Porsches, is the market introduction of the world’s fastest Ford Focus ever.
“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 of Ford Performance. “Focus RS delivers stunning performance and innovative technology at a price that will make both enthusiast consumers and premium automakers look twice.”
The 2016 Ford Focus RS gets those 350 hp, and an equal amount of lb.ft. of torque, from a turbocharged 2.3-litre four-cylinder engine. The all-aluminum EcoBoost engine drives the high-performance all-wheel drive four-door to 100 km/h in about five seconds, and allows it to reach a top speed of 265 km/h, making it easily the fastest production Ford Focus ever.
Helping traction, Ford’s new Performance All-Wheel Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring is useful for maintaining grip in sloppy conditions and during cornering. The system reportedly gets input from several sensors 100 times per second in order to optimize power distribution in all sorts of conditions. Power is distributed by a manual transmission, alerting the driver to performance-optimal shift points (reportedly at 5,900 rpm) in the instrument display. The engine is redlined at 6,800 rpm.
And for those who want to have a little bit more fun with their Focuses on the weekends (on closed courses, of course), there’s launch control (selectable through the cluster menu, it’s a first in any RS vehicle) to make sure the engine power doesn’t waste even an ounce spinning tires, and drift mode to allow it to do just the opposite.
Drift mode is one of four drive modes (along with Normal, Sport and Track) available at the turn of a dial. The drive selector adjusts the AWD, dampers, stability control, steering quickness, engine response and even the exhaust note.
The car (the third generation of the Focus RS, and the 30th Ford to wear the RS badge) is due in dealerships in spring 2016.
Focus RS pricing starts at $46,969 in Canada ($36,605 in the U.S.).