By William Maley
Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
February 9, 2013
For almost two years, we've been reporting on the rumors of the next generation Ford Focus RS. The model is reportedly coming with a 2.3L turbocharged four-cylinder that will be shared with the next-generation Mustang, producing close to 330 horsepower. The new Focus RS would stick with its front-wheel drive layout and use the RevoKnuckle front suspension. Now, the Focus RS might have gotten a date.
According to Autocar, the plans for the Focus RS were axed due Ford focusing more on raising sales volumes and cut costs by working on their mass-market models.But with profits on the rise, the economy in the U.S. becoming stable, and some other factors, Ford looks to be okaying niche models like the RS once again.
"Our ‘One Ford’ policy has succeeded in pushing our mainstream products further than ever, and the next step is to provide customers with more exemplary, smaller-volume highlight products. Planning doesn’t just have to be about the mainstream now; we can go to the edges again.” said Barb Samardzich, vice president of product development for Ford Europe.
Interesting what Barb Samardzich said, especially with the last sentence. What do you mean by going to the edges?
“There’s more room for more performance products across the range in the small, medium and large car segments. A whole suite of such cars is what I have in mind. I’m noting there are two different kinds of customers — one for ST products, which are fun but have an everyday usability, and another, more racing-focused customer who wants an RS-type car. Evolving both alongside Mustang is complementary; the customers for one don’t necessarily want the other.”
Autocar did ask about a Focus RS and Sanardzich only said “watch this space”. Sources at Ford tell Autocar that development work has begun and a sign-off is is imminent, if a business case can be made for the RS to sit alongside the European Mustang, which is comfirmed for 2014. If the sign-off is made, the earliest we could see the Focus RS is 2015.