Ford has confirmed plans to launch the high performance RS version of the recently revealed facelifted European Focus, which is set to arrive in 2009. This latest teaser hints at the styling direction the new model is taking, revealing an aggressive new bumper and flared wheel arches.

The only other official details apart from this teaser are that the RS will be based on the 2008 Focus ST. The brilliant Volvo-sourced 2.5L five-cylinder turbo engine will likely be the powerplant of choice but expect to see significantly more power than the Focus ST’s 225hp. Earlier reports claim the RS will be packing around 280hp.

As well as the extra power, the Focus RS is also tipped to receive a special semi-active limited-slip diff between the front wheels, 19in wheels, upgraded springs, dampers and anti-roll bars.

A concept version of the car will be unveiled by the middle of next year.