Ford is currently developing its next generation Focus RS that’s set for debut at next year’s London Motor Show. Expect the hot-hatch to be styled even more dramatically than the Focus ST pictured above, which itself has enjoyed strong demand, selling almost double its main rival, Volkswagen’s Golf GTi, in the UK. Autocar magazine is reporting that the output of the new Focus RS will increase by up to 30% to around 280hp from the Volvo sourced five-cylinder turbo engine.
Handling will be improved thanks to a special semi-active limited-slip diff between the front wheels, which will improve traction but torque-steer is still expected to be horrendous. Despite many of its rivals moving towards AWD configurations, the Focus RS will remain strictly front-wheel-drive, which will enable Ford to keep costs down. The car is still at least 18 months away from reaching showrooms, and is estimated to be priced between £21,000 and £23,000.
This is a relative bargain when you consider the 19in wheels, upgraded springs, dampers and anti-roll bars, as well as the unique exterior styling. Ford will build between 5,000 and 10,000 units, and there are no plans for a similar upgrade to the US delivered model.