No Focus RS for Aus
According to drive.com.au
It has taken two years, but Ford has finally rolled out the production version of the Focus RS. But it is more of a tease than a performance thoroughbred.
Ford says it was inspired by the Focus World Rally Championship racer but the RS drives the front wheels, not all four, as in the rally car.
The RS, due in Europe in October, is powered by a 158kW turbo version of Ford's 2.0-litre Duratec engine – that is, 65 percent more powerful than the standard 2.0. Ford is making much of the new engine's robustness, in response to the UK press running leaked stories about prototypes self-destructing.
Company sources reckon the turbo engine should deliver a top speed of 230kmh and a 0-100kmh time of 6.7 seconds.
To keep the front wheels on the tarmac and pointing ahead, Ford has incorporated an automatic torque-biasing differential. This is aimed at overcoming torque steer, for which high-powered front-drive set-ups are notorious.
Ford says that under hard standing-start acceleration in the wet, the front wheels may spin, but the car will remain straight.
The maker claims 70 percent of the hatch's basic components have been "uprated, re-engineered or completely redesigned".
It sits on 18-inch OZ racing wheels, replicas of the Focus WRC's magnesium wheels, shod with 225/40ZR Michelin Sport Pilot tyres.
Four-piston Brembo brakes at the front, gripping 325mm ventilated discs, stop the RS from 160 kmh in a claimed 4.1 seconds.
Outside, the styling picks up on the WRC car's distinctive lines. The bonnet, tailgate, doors and roof panel are said to be unchanged; the RS's steel quarter panels are welded in place off the production line.
The cabin trim is dominated by alcantara and carbon-fibre (for the centre console) and enlivened by an aluminium handbrake lever, short-throw gear lever, drilled pedals and an engine start button. Climate control air-conditioning and a six-stack CD player are standard. Ford spent "countless hours" with maker Sparco developing the rally-style seats.
Pricing is expected to be on par with, or marginally cheaper than, a standard-issue Subaru WRX – in the UK, at least.
Ford Australia this week confirmed it has no plans to bring the RS here. It will pitch the 127kW Focus ST170 as the performance version instead.