2016 Ford Focus RS with 320 Horsepower is One Hatch to Rule Them All!

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Ford Focus RS

In The Lord of the Rings, the three Elven kings each wore a ring of power. In much the same way, the three Elven hot hatch makers have long had dominance; Subaru with the STI, Volkswagen with their Golf R, and the Mazdaspeed 3.

Each one of them, brilliant in their own rights, were the go to supreme hot hatches for those who liked to drive.

Ford Focus RS

But Ford took notice. They went into the fiery depths of Mount Doom (Cologne, Germany) and went to work, forging a hot hatch worthy of the Dark Lord himself.

Today, the Performance Dark Lord Raj Nair showed the world what they created; the One Hatch. The brand new, all-wheel drive, Ford Focus RS.

Gollum is also excited about the Focus RS!

Gollum is also excited about the Focus RS! (Photoshop Courtesy of Staci Salazar)

Powering this new hot hatch is a version of the 2.3L EcoBoost four-pot in the 2015 Mustang, but making “well over” 320 horsepower.

Because Ford knows drivers want the maximum control, the Focus RS’s transmission is a tried-and-true 6-speed manual.

Ford Focus RS

The all-wheel drive system is new for Ford, and features active torque vectoring to keep everything in check. Two clutch packs (one front, and one rear), can send up to 70% of the car’s power to the rear wheels at any given time.

They also control power distribution to either the left or right wheel during cornering. Raj Nair even said that the car will perform rear-wheel drive power slides when required.

Unlike the torque vectoring system in the lesser Focus ST, it appears that the one in the RS will have a mechanical element. That doesn’t mean it won’t use some brake vectoring, but this system appears to be more sophisticated than the system used in the Golf R.

On the skidpad, expect the Focus RS to generate over 1G of cornering forces. Michelin Pilot Super Sports appear to be the rubber of choice for the 19″ RS wheels.

The interior has new Recaro seats, which look more like the ones in the Shelby GT350 than in the Focus ST. A flat-bottomed steering wheel indicates that the car means business. Also, all of the creature comforts and driving safety features you expect from a modern Ford will be there, including Sync (hopefully Sync 3).

Ford Focus RS

Four colors will be available for the RS, but not the Liquid Blue that the demo car is painted in. That’s the same color that adorned the Ford Performance vehicles at the 2015 North American International Auto Show and will most likely not make final production.

Sadly, the boldest color appears to be Nitrous Blue. There’s no mention of any greens, oranges, or other bold Ford hot hatch colors.

Ford Focus RS

The Focus RS, at least on paper, seems to be everything we ever wanted from an uber-hot hatch. Thankfully, this one is global and will be coming to the United States! This author can’t wait to drive it!

But now that Ford has raised the performance bar of hot hatches, I think it’s time for Volkswagen to enter Mordor and bring the Golf R400 into production to compete!

Join the Ford fans in the forum.>>

Chad Kirchner is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other auto sites.

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