Ford of Europe has apparently axed plans for the development of the sporty Focus RS hot-hatch because of concerns over carbon-dioxide emissions. The RS version of the facelifted Focus due next year was one of the most eagerly anticipated models in Ford’s Euro lineup, with some customers offering deposits up to 18 months in advance.

A spokesman from Ford, who spoke with AutoExpress, revealed that the prototype models seen testing in recent months were developed to test high-performance parts for other future products and that at no point was there ever a business case for an RS-badged Focus.

Initial predictions for the new RS claimed that it would feature a potent turbo motor pumping out more than 300bhp, with drive sent to all four wheels.

Other reasons for nixing the model was due to a lack of interest in markets outside of the UK but the source has not ruled out a potential RS version of the next-generation MkIII Focus that’s due in 2010.