While there have been rumblings that Ford would not produce a successor to its all-out-insane 305 horsepower, front-wheel drive Focus RS, a mysterious Focus test-mule with some distinct RS components has been spotted in the past.

Now we have confirmation of the new-generation Focus RS’ development thanks to comments from Gunnar Herrmann, Ford’s global boss for small cars.

Speaking with Drive, Herrmann revealed that engineers were working on a new RS version of the latest 2012 Ford Focus and that it will come with more power than the current model though remain strictly front-wheel drive.

Herrmann also mentioned that the limited edition RS500 model sold in the UK featured 345 horsepower and that prototype versions were running up to 380 horsepower.

The key to Ford being able to send that much power, reliably, through the front wheels is its advanced RevoKnuckle suspension system, which enables the car to keep the intended direction of travel even under heavy throttle. It works in conjunction with a Quaife automatic torque biasing limited-slip differential.

The advantage is similar traction levels but much lighter weight and cost than an all-wheel drive vehicle.

Power is expected to come from an uprated version of the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine that will power the 2012 Ford Focus ST. In the ST output will hover around 250 horsepower but extra boost pressure, reinforced internals, and adequate cooling could see output from Ford’s 2.0-liter EcoBoost increase to around 350 horsepower.

One thing’s for certain, previous reports that the car could adopt an advanced hybrid all-wheel drive system are completely unfounded. 

Look out for the debut of the new Ford Focus RS sometime in late 2013 or early 2014. And yes, this one will finally be coming to the U.S.

For full details on the current model, click here for our previous story