The idea of building a vehicle to compete with the Toyota FT-86 is “interesting,” but not necessarily the direction Ford has in mind when it comes to the future of small sporty cars. This is according to Ford marketing boss Jim Farley, who’s brain we had a chance to pick a few weeks back during a preview of the all new 2011 Focus.
With Ford having just announced the new 2011 Mustang and Mustang GT, with big increases in power (the V6 now making over 300-hp), it means the iconic pony car no longer competes in the same segment as vehicles like the Hyudai Genesis Coupe. (Not that it really ever did anyway). And with Toyota’s entry-level rear-drive sports car being prepared to hit the market, rumors have suggested that both Volkswagen and Kia are contemplating similar vehicles. So we thought we’d ask Ford about its plans.
“I do think the direction is interesting,” said Farley, but qualified that statement and sent the conversation in a new direction by commenting that what he sees as more compelling are cars like the Subaru WRX, which take a standard economy car (the Impreza) and turn it into a pocket rocket. That of course had the gathered journalists buzzing about the possibility that the Focus RS could very well make its way to North America.
The idea of a Focus RS also works with Ford’s new ONE Ford slogan, which is more than a marketing pitch, but an entirely new business philosophy for the American automaker.The idea is to build world car platforms to significantly reduce costs, from research and development to marketing.
More: Report: Is Ford Planning an FT-86 Rival, or is the Focus RS Finally Headed for North America?