If it wasn't already powerful enough, expect this one to be PROPERLY powerful.
Ford is planning to transform the next-gen Focus RS into a hybrid rival to the Mercedes-AMG A45 and Audi RS3, if new reports from Europe are to be believed.
According to Autocar, the 2020 RS will make use of 48V mild-hybrid tech to meet ever-tightening emissions regulations.
The report suggests that the current 257kW 2.3-litre, EcoBoost engine, which makes 275kW after a bit of factory-sanctioned fettling from Mountune, could benefit from an extra 20-25kW of power and 80-90Nm of torque from an integrated 48V starter/generator.
Similar systems are starting to show up in Audi and Mercedes-AMG models. They help shave off emissions by allowing the start/stop system to operate over a wider speed range, harvesting energy generated under braking and delivering more off the line punch.
In the Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 unveiled in Detroit, the 48V EQ Boost system can provide an extra 16kW and 250Nm in brief bursts. The system allows the car to ‘glide’ with the engine turned off under light loads, and also powers an electric compressor designed to provide boost while the mechanical turbo spools.
Above: The new Ford Focus reveal.
Above: The new Focus ST
There’s no word yet on whether the RS will run with an electric compressor.
Although Mercedes and Audi haven’t revealed their next-generation of hot-hatches – the new A-Class was unveiled in February, while the current RS3 is running around in post-facelift disguise – the expectation is that Ford’s hottest Focus will be able to tackle the German hyper-hatches
New Focus Launch.
In Europe, the new Focus will be available in a number of specialised trim lines: the sporty looking ST-Line, the luxury Titanium, the high-riding Active, and luxurious Vignale. China, at this stage, is only set to receive the ST-Line and Titanium trims.
Powerplants confirmed for the new Focus include the company’s 1.0-litre three-cylinder and 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo EcoBoost petrol engines, and the 2.0-litre EcoBlue turbo-diesel.
An eight-speed automatic will be available as an option, with selectable shift speeds. Instead of the traditional gear shifter, automatic models utilise a rotary gear selector dial.
The company claims the new Focus' body is 20 per cent more rigid than the outgoing model and “remains true to its 20-year legacy of class-leading driving dynamics”. Electric power steering and three selectable driving modes (Normal, Sport and Eco) are standard.
For vehicles equipped with a Wi-Fi hotspot and the new FordPass Connect system, owners will be able to remotely start their vehicle, check car stats, locate their vehicle, and lock and unlock doors from their smartphone.
Top-spec models also include Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment, an 8.0-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring capability, and wireless smartphone charging.
Ford has today confirmed the new Focus will make its way to Australia in late 2018, although exact timing and details are still to be confirmed.