The first 2010 Ford Focus RS rolled off the production line today at the Blue Oval’s Saarlouis plant in Germany, with the first cars expected to hit showrooms in April. The Focus RS will be available in more than 20 European countries including Russia, with the UK, Switzerland and Germany expected to account for the highest volume markets.

The Saarlouis plant already builds the three and five-door versions of the Focus hatchback, wagon and sporty ST models, and for the new RS a special team was set-up to specifically install a number of unique exterior and interior design details. These include new body parts to incorporate wider wheel arches and a wider track, complemented by revised, deeper side rocker mouldings and custom front and rear bumpers.

Ford has also confirmed that the vehicle’s final specification will see it develop 300hp (225kW) and 325lb-ft (440Nm) of torque from its Duratec 2.5L engine. This is enough for a 0-100km/h (62mph) time of 5.9 seconds and a top speed of 264km/h (164mph).

"We are excited that a new RS-badged Ford performance model is back in our portfolio and that production at Saarlouis is starting on schedule," said Ford’s European chief John Fleming. "We've had a huge amount of interest in this model from the loyal army of Ford RS enthusiasts as well as potential customers who have never owned an RS before.”

When it’s launched later this year, the new Focus RS will mark the return of the storied Ford ‘RS’ badge, last seen on the first-generation Focus RS in 2002 and with a heritage stretching back 38 years including Fiesta, Escort and Sierra models – some of which were also built at the Saarlouis plant.Ford Focus RS Concept

Ford Focus RS hatchFord Focus RS teaser