New Ford Focus RS expected in 2015
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Next Generation Ford hot-hatch has been confirmed for production
Ford officials have confirmed that the next-generation Ford Focus RS will go on sale in 2015.
It’s being reported that a new Ford Focus RS will arrive in 2015 with around 330bhp from a 2.3 litre four cylinder turbo. The RS will keep the current front-wheel drive setup and is set to offer an upgraded version of the Revoknuckle front suspension, a feature that didn’t make it into the new ST due to the fact that it was seen as too expensive.
The news marks a major shift for Ford, which in recent years has focused on mass-market models to raise sales volumes and cut costs under boss Alan Mulally’s ‘One Ford’ strategy that develops cars for global sale using as many common parts as possible.
Barb Samardzich, vice president of product development for Ford Europe, told Autocar: “We’ve concentrated on developing cars for world markets, and you can see the result of that with the Edge and Mustang scheduled to come to Europe, and the Fiesta and Focus in the US. Our ‘One Ford’ policy has succeeded in pushing our mainstream products further than ever, and the next step is to provide customers with more exemplary, smaller-volume highlight products. Planning doesn’t just have to be about the mainstream now; we can go to the edges again.”
Samardzich stopped short of fully confirming a new Focus RS, saying only “watch this space” when probed, but others at Ford have confirmed development work has begun. Autocar understands sign-off for the project is imminent, dependent on final analysis showing a business case for it to sit beside the new, European-bound Mustang, which is confirmed for 2014.
However, Samardzich also revealed to Autocar that recent studies concluded customers for Ford’s high-performance vehicles were divided into very different groups. This is believed to have significantly strengthened the case for a Focus RS by abating fears that it would cannibalise Focus ST or Mustang sales.
“There’s more room for more performance products across the range in the small, medium and large car segments,” said Samardzich. “A whole suite of such cars is what I have in mind. I’m noting there are two different kinds of customers — one for ST products, which are fun but have an everyday usability, and another, more racing-focused customer who wants an RS-type car. Evolving both alongside Mustang is complementary; the customers for one don’t necessarily want the other.”
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