The Next-Generation Focus RS
For those who like to throw a little bit of fun into their daily commute, Ford makes an ST version of the popular Focus. However, for some, the ST doesn’t quite scratch the speed demon itch. That’s why Ford has been offering the Focus RS since 2002. The RS offers track-worthy performance and aggressive styling. Despite its wealth of upgrades, the RS also represents pretty good bang for your buck. Now, as the Focus enters its next generation, many are wondering what will happen to the beloved RS. But before we get into that, let’s take a look at the outgoing model.
2018 Focus RS
The 2018 Focus RS boasts one of the most demonic four-cylinder engines on the road. The 2.3L EcoBoost I-4 cranks out 350 horsepower and 350 lb/ft of torque. And the delivery of all that power is pretty refined. The RS grips the pavement superbly. Handling and steering excellent. And, with performance all-wheel drive and dynamic torque vectoring, you can even convince your significant other that it’s a practical mode of transportation for Canadian conditions.
The Focus RS comes with two sets of striking wheels. The first are 19” forged aluminum wheels paired with some sticky summer tires. The second set are 18” sparkle silver wheels with Michelin Pilot Alpin tires. Although the features look great on paper, the 2018 Focus RS is even more than the sum of its parts. It’s a special hot hatch, and you can’t help but wonder what the next generation will bring.
After all the Focus RS is about to end production in Saarlouis, Germany. Once 50 exclusive “Heritage Edition” models come off the production line, it will be at least one year before Ford makes another RS. Currently, production of all Ford Foci is relocating to China from where future vehicles will be imported starting in mid 2019.
2020 Focus RS
Although we’ll have to wait a while to see the 2020(?) Focus RS, details have begun leaking. As you can see from the images, the standard model of the Focus is sleek and mature. But it’s always going to be judged for its performance rather than its style. On that score, reports indicate the next Focus RS will employ a mild hybrid system. Now, that doesn’t mean it’s going to compete with the Prius. It means Ford will supplement the engine’s power with a 48-volt motor.
The hybrid system will boost the overall power to 400 horsepower and 425 lb/ft of torque. More power, less fuel – sounds like a good combination. The electric motor will bring instant low-end torque, so you can expect to see the 2018 model’s 0-60 time of 4.6 seconds eclipsed. According to Autocar, the electric motor will also smooth out the shifting. This would allow Ford to install a dual-clutch automatic transmission which would be a big improvement on the current set up.
However, after the announcement that the Focus Active will be the only model coming to North America, we suspect the next RS may only be offered in Europe. On our shores, Ford fans will have to make do with the new Ranger, Bronco, and Edge ST.