All-New Ford Focus RS Makes U.S. Debut in New York

By SEMA Editors

The all-new Ford Focus RS features a 2.3L EcoBoost engine delivering well in excess of 315 hp, along with the most powerful Ford RS braking system ever.

The all-new Ford Focus RS debuted at the 2015 New York International Auto Show. The high-performance road car introduces advanced performance technologies, and is the first Ford RS equipped with selectable drive modes—including drift mode and launch control.

The third-generation high-performance hatch features a 2.3L EcoBoost engine delivering well in excess of 315 hp, along with the most powerful Ford RS braking system ever. Its dramatic exterior design offers optimized aerodynamics and cooling, with 9% less drag over the previous model.

The all-new Focus RS is the first model that will be produced for all markets at Ford’s Saarlouis, Germany, manufacturing plant beginning later this year, with sales in North America beginning in spring 2016.

Focus RS leverages all-wheel drive with dynamic torque vectoring to deliver traction with agility and cornering speed. The system is based on electronically controlled twin-clutch packs on each side of the rear-drive unit. The control unit continuously varies front-to-rear and side-to-side torque distribution to suit the driving situation, monitoring inputs from multiple vehicle sensors 100 times per second. A maximum of 70% of the drive torque can be diverted to the rear axle. Up to 100% of available torque can be sent to each rear wheel delivering the torque-vectoring capability that has a dramatic impact on handling and cornering stability.

In cornering situations, the rear-drive unit preemptively diverts torque to the outer rear wheel based on steering-wheel angle, lateral acceleration, yaw and speed. This torque transfer has the effect of “driving” the car into a bend—achieving improved turn-in and stability while virtually eliminating understeer.

Other exclusive chassis features include a sport suspension with stiffer spring rates and more efficient bushes and antiroll bars than those found in Focus ST, and two-mode switchable dampers, which offer a firmer setting for track use. Specially tuned electric power-assisted steering, in combination with an optimized front suspension knuckle design and shorter link arms, delivers connected and responsive steering.

The car’s exterior design supports optimization of the front splitter, rear spoiler and underbody eliminates lift forces, resulting in balanced performance with zero-lift front and rear for optimum high-speed handling and stability.

With a drag coefficient of 0.35, the shape of the new Focus RS is 6% more aerodynamic than the previous model, and with its more compact frontal area, the car generates 9% less drag, improving high-speed performance and reducing fuel consumption.

Four exterior colors include Focus RS-exclusive Nitrous Blue, Stealth Gray, Shadow Black and Frozen White.