Ford’s research and development engineers must have something in the water they drink. From a long history of sporting oriented cars and with a continued push to extract every erg of performance from their four cylinder range, the recent unveiling of the Focus RS model to the Australian motoring media has taken the superlatives to a new level, thanks to their latest work.
Here’s Ford Australia’s PR release:
The hugely anticipated 2016 Ford Focus RS brings Ford’s most advanced and capable performance hatch to Australian customers. With more power, as well as a driver-focussed Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive, the RS brings scintillating performance and technical innovation at a lower Manufacturer’s List Price than its predecessor.“The all-new Focus RS is a very serious machine with high-performance technology and innovative engineering that sets a new benchmark for driving exhilaration,” said Raj Nair, group vice president, Global Product Development, Ford Motor Company. “The RS line has a proud history of technical breakthroughs that have gone on to benefit all Ford customers, and the new Focus RS is no exception.”
The all-new Focus RS is the 30th car to wear the legendary RS “Rallye Sport” badge, reserved for Ford models that have pioneered performance technologies. Focus RS follows in the footsteps of Ford models including the 16-valve 1970 Escort RS1600, turbocharged Sierra RS Cosworth of 1985, and four-wheel-drive 1992 Escort RS Cosworth.The bold, muscular stance and wind-tunnel tested aerodynamic improvements give the 2016 Ford Focus RS an unmistakable performance posture. With a goal of zero lift front and rear, the RS boasts a uniquely aggressive front bumper, raised rear spoiler and dramatic yet functional rear diffuser. While its exterior’s bold colour palette, 19-inch alloys with Michelin Super Sport tyres and Brembo brakes scream athleticism, the RS badge signifies that its performance story is not merely window dressing.
Thanks to a new Launch Control function – the Focus RS finds itself in the company of premium dedicated sports cars.
This RS has more power than its predecessor, its all-alloy 2.3-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder boasting a twin-scroll turbocharger and a substantial 257kW2. Maximum torque of 440Nm is delivered between 2000 and 4500rpm, with 470Nm available for up to 15 seconds on transient overboost during hard acceleration1.
The EcoBoost engine itself shares its backbone – including block, crankshaft and therefore 2261cc capacity – with the 2016 Ford Mustang EcoBoost. Produced in Valencia, Spain, especially for the Focus RS, it has been significantly reengineered to deliver not only more power and torque, but a sharper acceleration response backed with a cack-and-burble from its larger exhaust system on lift-off for an entertaining drive both on- and off-throttle.
The Focus RS is offered exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission that remains true to the RS goal of the most exhilarating, engaging driver involvement. It continues the RS tradition of using manual transmissions as the ultimate in driving pleasure.
The 2016 Focus RS comes standard with Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive – a Focus first. Ford engineers didn’t stop there. The sophisticated AWD system enabled Dynamic Torque Vectoring, which means that the Focus RS can split its torque not only front-to-rear, but also side-to-side for unprecedented road-holding.Sport Mode is one of four selectable drive modes – the first RS model to offer such a feature – that maximise the livability and enjoyment of the Focus RS. Each of these modes alters the steering, which has been recalibrated for more linearity, as well as the ESC, engine and exhaust settings. They also alter the adjustable dampers, another first for the 2016 Focus RS. Normal and Sport are calibrated for road use, with Track and Drift modes for the occasional closed course and racetrack experiences only. The dampers can also be changed independently, with two settings available. The drive modes operate independently of the Launch Control system.
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. There’s also a flat-bottom steering wheel, while the Focus RS offers technologies new to the RS marque including Ford’s SYNC connectivity system. Simple voice commands such as “Find a race track” enable RS owners to get instant directions to the nearest public circuit.
A flood of orders since full specification of the Focus RS was confirmed at the 2015 Frankfurt motor show has underlined the customer desire for an affordable, exquisitely engineered Focus around the globe. More than 6200 orders were taken in Europe before the launch showing the affection, respect and desirability of Ford’s RS products. The Australian order book followed suit – the first allocation of more than 300 Focus RS’s has quickly been snapped up, with Ford Australia working on further stocks from the Saarlouis, Germany, factory.Such anticipation comes courtesy of the Focus RS’s already brimming trophy cabinet. Ahead of Australian launch, its most recent accolade is the 2016 Auto Express Hot Hatch of the Year. That comes after awards, among others, from What Car? as a 2016 ‘Game-changer’, Autocar awarding it a maximum 5/5-star rating, while Top Gear announced the Focus RS its 2016 Car of the Year. To top it off, Autocar also named RS Chief Engineer, Tyrone Johnson – who today presents the Focus RS to the Australian media in Brisbane – its 2016 Engineer of the Year.
“The Focus RS sees the return of one of our most revered models,” said Graeme Whickman, CEO and President, Ford of Australia. “It builds on our showroom appeal of models including the Focus ST and Fiesta ST, XR Sprint Falcons as well as the hugely popular Mustang.”
The 2016 Ford Focus RS is another example of Ford’s commitment to Australian customers and comes on top of a $2 billion investment in local R&D over the past six years.
It’s already garnered plenty of acclaim from members of the Australian motoring press, with John Carey from Wheels magazine saying: “Ford delivers stellar performance and handling at a price that reads like a misprint.” Feann Torr from carsales.com.au said: “After an hour of hard driving, I’m sold. I want this car. Now. This isn’t just a great hot hatch; it’s one of the best performance cars yet.”Here’s why:
ENGINE DATA: 2.3-litre EcoBoost
Type: Inline four cylinder petrol, turbocharged, transverse
Displacement: 2261 cm3
Max power: 257 kW at 6000 rpm, Max torque 440 Nm between 2000 – 4500 rpm(470 Nm on transient overboost)
Transmission: 6-speed manual, Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive
Fuel: 95 RON unleaded.
Kerb weight: 1524 kilograms.
Price is $50990 plus on roads, with prestige paint being a $450 cost option along with the Performance Wheel pack at $2500. there’s just four colours, being Nitrous (a blue), White, Magnetic (grey) and Shadow Black.