With Focus RS production cars beginning to roll off the line last month at Ford’s Saarlouis plant in Germany, the Blue Oval is using the Geneva motor show to officially debut the final production version of its new hot hatchback. It was previewed last fall at the Paris show.
For those who don’t know, the RS is the high-performance version of the Focus that we’ve never got in the United States. They are very fast and everyone who is reading this should want one. If you don’t, you will by the end of this.
Power comes from a 2.5-liter turbocharged straight five-cylinder, which is good for 300 hp and 324-lb-ft of torque. The engine is teamed with a six-speed manual transmission that routes the power to the front wheels. Helping to put the power to the pavement is a Quaife helical limited-slip differential that shoots the RS from 0-to-62 mph in just 5.9 seconds, according to Ford. Top speed is a 163 mph.
Not impressed? Ford says the new Focus RS is its fastest product to round its Lommel Proving Ground handling circuit in Belgium, beating out the likes of the 550-hp Ford GT.
To keep the RS planted, engineers reworked the McPherson strut suspension with a RevoKnuckle system to provide engineers the level of adjustability normally associated with more expensive double wishbone systems. Stiffer springs, thicker antiroll bars, larger brakes and a specially tuned stability control program are exclusive to the RS.
Nearly all bodywork is reworked and tested in the wind-tunnel. A front splitter and twin-blade rear spoiler--fashioned after the ones found on Ford’s World Rally Champion race cars--provides needed downforce and cooling properties.
The performance theme seeps into the interior with front Recaro sport seats, sculpted high-bolster rear seats, a short-throw shifter and aluminum pedals.
Unfortunately, this Focus RS is still not destined for the U.S. market. However, when the new Focus hits the states in 2011 based on the same architecture that underpins the European car, who knows? With a scaled back stake in Mazda, Ford might not mind competing with the Mazdaspeed 3.
To read more visit the AutoWeek Geneva Motor Show News and Photos section.