The all-new Ford Focus RS made its global public debut at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. The high-performance road car pioneers the innovative Ford Performance All-Wheel-Drive system, and delivers class-leading cornering speed, thrilling performance and unbridled driving enjoyment.
The all-new Focus RS also introduces advanced performance technologies, and is the first Ford RS equipped with selectable Drive Modes – including an industry-first Drift Mode – and Launch Control.
With a 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine delivering in excess of 250 kW, the high-performance road car offers the most powerful Ford RS braking system ever. Its dramatic exterior design offers optimised aerodynamics and cooling, with zero lift and 9 per cent less drag than the previous Focus RS.
“The RS line has a proud history of technical breakthroughs that have migrated to mainstream Fords to benefit all of our customers, and the new Focus RS is no exception. It’s a great example of our passion for innovation through performance and creating vehicles that make people’s hearts pound,” said Raj Nair, group vice president, Ford Motor Company.
The Focus RS is the latest vehicle to be unveiled as part of a new era of Ford performance that will bring to customers globally more than 12 performance vehicles through 2020.
Developed by a small team of Ford Performance engineers in Europe and US, the new Focus RS is the third generation of Focus RS cars, it will be the 30th car to wear the legendary RS badge.
“Just as important is the fact that with technologies such as EcoBoost, we are able to demonstrate how an innovation that powers almost every car in our range can also be the heartbeat of our finest performance cars,” said Jim Farley, Ford Motor Company executive vice president and president Europe, Middle East and Africa. ”
Gymkhana and World Rallycross star Ken Block was brought on as a consultant on the all-new Focus RS.
The all-new Focus RS exploits the innovative Ford Performance All-Wheel-Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring to deliver a new level of handling capability and driver enjoyment, combining outstanding traction and grip with unmatched agility and cornering speed.
The control unit in the rear drive unit continuously varies the front/rear and side-to-side torque distribution to suit the current driving situation, monitoring inputs from multiple vehicle sensors 100 times per second. A maximum of 70 per cent of the drive torque can be diverted to the rear axle. Up to 100 per cent of the available torque at the rear axle can be sent to each rear wheel.
Other exclusive chassis features include sports suspension with stiffer spring rates and more efficient bushes and anti-roll-bars than those found in the Focus ST, and two-mode switchable dampers, which offer a firmer setting for track driving. A carefully tuned electric power-assisted steering system, working in combination with an optimised front suspension knuckle design and shorter steering link arms, delivers connected and responsive steering with outstanding feel.
Ford engineers worked closely with Michelin to develop a choice of high-performance 235/35 R19 tyres to complement the driving dynamics of the Focus RS; a standard Pilot Super Sport tyre for every-day use; and – for the first time on an RS – an optional Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyre for enhanced vehicle dynamics on the track.
The vehicle’s exterior design has also been developed to support the dynamic objectives. Careful aerodynamic optimisation of the front splitter, rear spoiler and underbody features eliminates lift forces.
The Drift Mode features a specially developed calibration for the AWD system which modifies the torque distribution to help the driver achieve controlled oversteer drifts under circuit conditions.
For enhanced braking during hard track driving, the all-new Focus RS features 350 mm ventilated front discs (up from 336 mm on the previous Focus RS) and lightweight aluminium Brembo four-piston monoblock callipers – painted in distinctive RS blue with a Brembo logo available as an option.
Increased output is generated by a new low-inertia twin-scroll turbocharger with larger compressor that delivers significantly greater air flow, along with a much bigger intercooler to maximise charge density. Engine breathing also is enhanced through a less restrictive intake design, and a large-bore high performance exhaust system with an electronically controlled valve in the tailpipe that helps optimise the balance of back pressure and noise output.
Meticulous calibration work has ensured that the power unit delivers excellent low-end responsiveness with a powerful mid-range pull, climbing to a free-revving top-end up to a maximum rev limit of 6,800 rpm.
The six-speed manual transmission has been optimised for the enthusiast driver with a shorter gear lever and revised mechanism to deliver faster and more accurate shifts.
With its high-efficiency EcoBoost design featuring direct fuel injection, twin independent variable camshaft timing and advanced turbocharging, the engine also delivers significantly improved fuel consumption. With Auto-Start-Stop fitted as standard, preliminary figures indicate that CO2 emissions will be significantly reduced compared with the previous model.
“This is the ultimate Focus – stunning to look at, and entirely fit for purpose,” said Joel Piaskowski, director, Design, Ford of Europe.
The high-performance character of the RS is reflected inside the car with heavily-bolstered partial-leather Recaro sports seats as the centrepiece of the cockpit.