Geneva Motor Show 2015: Ford unleashes 320PS Focus RS

Published 03 March 2015

Ford has unveiled the all-new Focus RS at the Geneva Motor Show. The third-generation RS is powered by a 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine with 320PS and - for the first time ever in a Focus - there's four-wheel drive. Expect prices to start under £30,000 when the Focus RS reaches the UK in 2016. 

Ford's first all-wheel drive hot hatch since the Escort RS Cosworth, the new RS uses a twin clutch system - one each side of the rear drive unit - to control the car’s front/rear torque split. As a result, Ford claims it has eliminated understeer and created a car with razor sharp handling, which will match both the Audi RS3 and Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG. 

As you'd expect, the exterior is aggressive and bold, with narrowed xenon headlights, featuring automatic beam adjustment to match the vehicle speed and steering angle. The RS also gets a front splitter, plastic grille guard and a large rear spoiler, along with a more angular bonnet and multi-spoke 19-inch RS alloy wheels. 

Inside the makeover continues, with partial-leather Recaro sports seats, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, alloy foot pedals and a racing inspired instrument cluster. 

Sports suspension and two-mode switchable dampers are fitted as standard, with the latter offering a firmer setting for track driving. The manufacturer has also struck a partnership with Michelin to develop a choice of high-performance 235/35 R19 tyres; a standard Pilot Super Sport tyre for every-day use; and an optional Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyre for ripping it up on the race track. 

Power comes from the same 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine found in the Mustang, although the Focus RS will use a twin-scroll turbocharger to return 320PS. There's no official details on torque, but we are told that the Focus RS will "easily exceed" the Mustang's 434Nm right up to the rev limit of 6800rpm.

The 2.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine is linked to six-speed manual transmission and both the transmission and the clutch have been upgraded with stronger components to cope with the engine’s increased torque output. Ford has also tuned the twin exhaust to deliver the typical deep, distinctive burbles, pops and crackles that are a RS signature.

The Focus RS will be offered in four exterior colours: Nitrous Blue, Stealth Grey, Absolute Black and Frozen White. However, the launch car in our pictures is finished in the same special Liquid Blue colour scheme as seen on the all-new Ford GT.

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James S    on 3 March 2015

It is not a RS unless it has a wide body...

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