Ford’s new Focus RS to be sold in U.S.

Michael Martinez
The Detroit News

Dearborn — Ford Motor Co. on Tuesday unveiled a redesigned Focus RS performance car that for the first time will be sold in the United States.

The all-wheel-drive car gets more than 315 horsepower from a new 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine and is equipped with a six-speed manual transmission. It will be built at Ford’s plant in Sarrlouis, Germany, and will go on sale in Asia, North America and Europe in 2016.

Ford did not discuss expected volume numbers, pricing or other performance numbers.

“The all-new Focus RS is a serious machine with high-performance technology and innovative engineering that sets a new benchmark for driving exhilaration on the road and track,” Raj Nair, group vice president of global product development, said in a statement.

Ford said the new rally sport version of its small car will compete directly against the Subaru WRX STI, VW Golf R and Mitsubishi EVO.

Ford last introduced a Focus RS five years ago for the 2009 model, and before that in 2002 — but those cars were sold only in Europe. The latest car will be the 30th vehicle to wear Ford’s RS badge.

The car will feature 19-inch rims, Recaro sports seats and will seat five people. The all-wheel-drive system allows for up to 70 percent of the torque to the rear axle, and all of the torque can be sent to each rear wheel.

“The RS for us captures the promise of our brand,” said Jim Farley, Ford’s head of Europe. “At our best, we bring technology to millions; we make great cars that are affordable.”

The Focus RS is the latest car under the newly created Ford Performance umbrella. Last month, Ford showed off a GT super car, Mustang Shelby GT350R, and a F-150 Raptor at the North American International Auto Show. The Dearborn automaker said it will unveil 12 performance vehicles by 2020.

“Small cars are a very important part of our portfolio,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas. “The RS brings the racing element to the Focus nameplate as well as adding more product to our portfolio of performance vehicles.”

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