Next Ford Focus RS could be 400-hp hybrid

2016 Ford Focus RS

2016 Ford Focus RS

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The current Ford Focus RS is preparing to depart the production line on April 6, but Ford has plans for another RS-badged Focus, and it might even be a hybrid.

That's the rumor from Dutch publication Auto International, which reported last week that the next-generation Focus RS will sport a 48-volt mild-hybrid system to boost power. The claimed figure is a nice, round 400 horsepower.

Right now, Ford's hottest of hot hatches makes 350 hp, though a final Focus RS Heritage Edition does bump that rating up to 370 hp with a Mountune performance kit. The report alleged that the 2.3-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine will soldier on, but the hybrid system's bigger starter motor will augment the powertrain. An additional 44 pound-feet of torque is reportedly in the cards, too, bringing the total to 394 lb-ft.

Although just a rumor, the strategy seems to have some credentials. Ford will get serious about electrification in the coming years and even teased a future battery-electric performance crossover that could wear the "Mach 1" name. We also know a Mustang hybrid is coming, as is an F-150 hybrid.

Executive Vice President and President for Global Markets Jim Farley said in January that Ford will offer seven fully electric cars in North America by 2022.

Don't expect a new Focus RS until deep into the next-generation Focus' lifecycle, but do look for the next-generation hatchback to bow at the 2018 Geneva motor show next week. We may see the Focus sedan show face at the 2018 New York auto show later this month as well.

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