The last we heard, Ford was considering replacing the Focus RS with a Fiesta RS, preferring the Fiesta’s smaller body and three-door configuration, not to mention the fact that the Fiesta is now the Blue Oval’s weapon of choice in the World Rally Championship.
While this seems reason enough to forget about a Focus RS altogether, the overwhelmingly positive response to the recently launched Focus ST can’t be dismissed.
The latest snippet of information was revealed by the chief program engineer for the ST, Matthias Ton, who said the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine in the Focus ST was already at its limit, so for a more powerful Focus RS a new 2.3-liter unit being developed in the U.S. was a more likely option. This engine will be serving as the new base option in the 2015 Mustang where it’s expected to produce around 330 horsepower.
The previous Focus RS had a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine rated at 301 horsepower in standard trim and up to 345 horsepower in the limited edition RS500 model.
To further differentiate the Focus RS from the lesser Focus ST, the car would likely be fitted with a mechanical limited slip differential, a wider track and perhaps even the old car’s RevoKnuckle front strut as opposed to the ST's Torque Steer Compensation system. There’s also talk of an all-wheel drive system being fitted to give the car a better footing against the likes of the Volkswagen Golf R, though it appears everything is still open to discussion.
Considering the Focus ST has just gone on sale, and a new Fiesta ST is still on the way, we wouldn’t expect to see a new generation of the Focus RS until 2015 at the earliest, if at all.