Tuesday, April 14, 2015

2016 Ford Focus RS Finally Arriving for U.S. Enthusiasts

The 2016 Ford Focus RS comes with a number of performance features that will set it apart. It gets an industry first Drift Mode.

Europeans have been thrilled with the hot hatch Ford Focus RS since its introduction in 2002, but U.S. performance enthusiasts could only look and not touch until now. That all changed as Ford unveiled the new 2015 Ford Focus RS at the New York International Auto Show.


The Focus RS has been recently redesigned by Ford Europe and will make its way to U.S. shores. The car grows up and gets a little less extreme on the outside. It has a more sophisticated look and still has a very muscular character. It’s what is underneath that exterior that gets performance enthusiasts excited.

The 2015 Ford Focus RS will be powered by a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine from the Ford Mustang. Ford says the hot RS turbocharged engine will pump out at least 315 horsepower and 320 lb. ft of torque. It will also feature Ford’s new Performance All-Wheel Drive system with Dynamic Torque Vectoring.

The system continuously varies front-to-rear and side-to-side torque distribution to suit the driving situation. A maximum of 70 percent of the drive torque can be diverted to the rear axle and up to 100 percent of available torque can be sent to each rear wheel, improving handling and cornering stability.

Ford will offer an industry-first drift-mode on the new hot hatch, a feature that will no doubt thrill performance enthusiasts. In the video below, Tyrone Johnson, Vehicle and Engineering Manager at Ford says the new Focus RS will be just as hard core and a driver’s car like the outgoing model. The Drift mode allows the driver to do controlled oversteer maneuvers on the track.

There are other modes in the hot hatch; Normal, Sport, Track, and Drift that changes how the car performs. Johnson says, “Track Mode makes the car very fast on the track, with all the systems, AWD and Torque Vectoring working together. It also makes the car much flatter and stiffer in the corners over the previous RS.”

Normal mode is for everyday driving still keeping the suspension stiff, but it makes it more comfortable as a “long journey car.” The customer gets both, a track car that can be used as a daily driver and a car that can be taken on long road trips. Chief Program Engineer Ford Focus RS, says the new RS will be “much more exhilarating and a fun to drive car” than the model it replaces.

Other features on the new 5-door hatch that will make it more fun for performance enthusiasts will be the car’s front splitter, rear diffuser, and rear wing that all work together to create “zero lift” at speeds as high as 155 mph. Ford Focus product marketing manager Omar Odeh told Automobile, “The exterior trio keeps the RS from producing aerodynamic lift at speed and the car doesn’t go ‘light’ at speeds, improving driver confidence.”