Ford is planning to launch a global version of the high-performance all-wheel-drive Focus RS next year possibly as a MY2017. The RS will be slotted just above the performance-oriented front-wheel-drive Focus ST, which will still be produced even with the arrival of the new model in North America.
According to Ford, the RS will be powered by a 2.3-liter turbocharged engine that provides over 315 hp of output and is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox that transmits power to all four wheels via a new AWD system.
This system features two sets of electronically controlled clutches, which constantly send power to the wheels as demanded by driving conditions. The previous versions of the Focus RS were produced in 2002 and 2009, and were only sold in Europe and Australia.
According to Joe Bakaj, Ford of Europe's vice president of product development, the gap in RS models has allowed the carmaker’s engineers to create the new RS from a strong base.
Ford even tapped rally driver Ken Block to help with the development of the RS. Ford is set to produce the Focus RS at its Saarlouis site in Germany starting late 2015.