American 2016 Focus RS Virtually Unchanged from European Version
The biggest fear when a brand says their going to bring their hot European version of a car to the United States is how much is going to need to be changed in order to sell it here. In some cases, the car that actually goes on sale here is entirely different than the one sold across the pond.
When Ford announced that the next-generation Focus RS was coming to America, I was still worried about what might actually change. Sure, a lot would be the same, but there were some nuances that I was afraid might not make the trip over that would be missed.
Today, during an online Twitter question and answer session, Ford confirmed a few things.
While Ford hasn’t been clear on what “minor regulatory differences” separate the U.S. and European versions, they made it clear that all of the performance bits are the same.
The version of the car shown in New York had seats that are similar in design to the Focus ST, and when Ford mentioned options for the seats, they didn’t include the awesome seats from the prototype that looked like they’d handle a 4-point harness.
That’s a bummer because we don’t typically get the high-performance seats because of federal safety regulations, particularly relating to the air bags.
Another major concern I had was what type of tires would be offered on the American version. During the launch, Ford confirmed that the two tires available would be either the standard set with Michelin Pilot Super Sports or a set of Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires.
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The Super Sports offer great wet performance along with dry, and are a good 3-season tire for a sports car. But the Cup tires are barely road legal racing tires, and are pretty serious. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ford didn’t offer the super aggressive tires here, but that isn’t going to be the case.
The big question most people want to know, besides what the final performance numbers are, is when they can get their hands on one and how much it’s going to cost them to do so.
Well, Ford is not talking in that department yet. The car is still a ways away yet, and some details still might not be finalized. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it in Volkswagen Golf R territory, around the $40,000 mark.
They pointed out a few additional details, including the fact that since it’ll be a 2016 model year car, it’ll carry the new Sync 3 infotainment system and not MyFord Touch. From my experience, the new system is much faster and more responsive, and I’m glad that that will be the infotainment option in that car.
The black wheels featured on the car in New York will be an optional set of wheels. Low gloss silver wheels will also be available.
I’m pretty excited about this car the more I hear about what effort Ford has put into it to make it special. While an unconfirmed $40,000 price tag seems like a lot for a Focus, it’s going to be unlike any Ford Focus ever made!
What do you think? Let us know in the forums!