Road & Track reports that Ford will bring an all-wheel drive version of the Ford Focus RS to America. That’s wonderful news for fans of hot hatchbacks, and apparently Ford wants a car in the US market that can compete with Volkswagen’s semi-extreme, 296 horsepower Golf R.
The new Focus RS will feature the same 2.3 liter EcoBoost engine that is set to debut soon in the 2015 Mustang, coupled to a completely new high torque AWD system that employs torque-vectoring front and rear differentials for improved handling. That AWD system will eventually trickle down to other Ford products like the Fusion, Escape and MKZ. The old Focus, shown in the photo above, sent up to 350 horsepower from a turbocharged five-cylinder (yes, five) engine through the front wheels only.
Engine output in the Mustang is limited to about 310 horsepower in order to get a bump in average fuel economy from a model that is expected to sell in large numbers. The Focus RS, however will be imported in “extremely limited numbers” (one per dealer?) and so Ford may feel free to turn up the wick a bit. While final numbers have not been announced, 350 hp is certainly possible from the 2.3 EcoBoost engine.
Ford has not fully committed to bringing the new Focus RS stateside yet. There are still marketing studies to be completed, government regulations to be satisfied, and some last minute hand wringing from senior managers to overcome. But Road & Track is not in the business of hyping vaporware.
It looks like an exciting, all new Focus RS awd is headed our way. Can’t wait!