DETROIT: With US sales of Ford’s performance cars outpacing the overall industry, production kickoff for the company’s long-anticipated, 350-horsepower hot hatch couldn’t come at a better time. The first all-new Focus RS has rolled off the line in Saarlouis, Germany.
The Focus RS is one of 12 new performance vehicles Ford will bring to customers globally through 2020. Developed by a team of Ford Performance engineers in Europe and the US, the model is powered by a specially engineered version of Ford’s new 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine delivering maximum power of 350 PS, and will sprint from 0-100kph in 4.7 seconds, making the high-performance hatchback the fastest accelerating Ford RS model ever.
The RS pioneers innovative Ford Performance All Wheel Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring for a new level of handling, grip and cornering speed. Selectable Drive Modes – including an industry-first Drift Mode that allows controlled oversteer drifts – and Launch Control feature on the RS model for the first time.
Since order books first opened in September, customers have already placed more than 3,100 orders, and a further 250,000 people have configured a Focus RS on Ford websites.
The arrival of Focus RS in the United States this spring adds to a potent hot hatch lineup. Ford’s Focus ST and Fiesta ST both have enjoyed critical acclaim and success. Sales of the Focus ST increased 9 percent last year while Fiesta ST saw a gain of 4 percent.
The Ford Performance US lineup is set to grow by three models in 2016. Focus RS will be joined by F-150 Raptor this fall and the all-new Ford GT supercar that goes into production late this year. Along with Focus ST and Fiesta ST, the lineup already includes the Mustang, Shelby GT350 and GT350R, which debuted late last year.