Volume production begins in Germany
Ford’s all-new Focus RS high-performance car pioneers the innovative Ford Performance All Wheel Drive (AWD) system that delivers class-leading cornering speed, thrilling performance and unbridled driving enjoyment. It introduces advanced performance technologies, and is the first Ford RS equipped with selectable Drive Modes – including an industry-first Drift Mode and Launch Control.
Powered by a specially engineered 350 PS (345 horsepower) version of Ford’s new 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, the high-performance hatchback is the fastest ever RS model, sprinting from 0-100 kilometers per hour (0-62 miles per hour) in 4.7 seconds and hitting a top speed of 266 kph (165 mph).
The all-new Focus RS is the first ever RS model that will be sold in North America and China, along with 42 other global markets. Volume production commenced on January 14 at Ford’s Saarlouis manufacturing plant in Germany.
Innovative Ford Performance AWD
The all-new Focus RS features innovative Ford Performance AWD with Dynamic Torque Vectoring to deliver a new level of handling capability and driver enjoyment, combining outstanding traction and grip with unmatched agility and cornering speed.
The Ford Performance AWD system is based on twin electronically-controlled clutch packs on each side of the rear drive unit (RDU). These manage the car’s front-to-rear torque split, and also can control the side-to-side torque distribution at the rear axle – delivering the “torque vectoring” capability, which has a dramatic impact on handling and cornering stability.
The control unit in the RDU continuously varies the front-to-rear and side-to-side torque distribution to suit the current driving situation, monitoring inputs from multiple vehicle sensors 100 times per second. A maximum of 70 percent of the drive torque can be diverted to the rear axle. Up to 100 percent of the available torque at the rear axle can be sent to each rear wheel, and the RDU can switch drive from one side to the other in as little as 0.06 seconds.
During cornering, the rear drive unit preemptively diverts torque to the outer rear wheel based on inputs such as steering wheel angle, lateral acceleration, yaw and speed. This torque transfer has the effect of “driving” the car into the bend, achieving improved turn-in and stability, and virtually eliminating understeer.
The AWD system has been tuned by Ford engineers to deliver exceptional grip – with lateral acceleration force exceeding 1 g – and class-leading cornering speed and acceleration out of bends. With neutral and adjustable limit handling, and the ability to achieve controlled oversteer drifts at the track, the Focus RS delivers the ultimate fun-to-drive experience.
To deliver optimum driving dynamics, the Ford Performance AWD system was calibrated alongside the car’s advanced Electronic Stability Control, in particular the brake-based Torque Vectoring Control system that works in parallel with the torque-vectoring AWD.
Other exclusive chassis features include sports suspension with stiffer spring rates – increased by 33 percent front and 38 percent rear – and more efficient anti-roll-bars than those found in the Focus ST, and two-mode switchable dampers, which offer a 40-percent firmer Sport setting for track driving. A carefully tuned electric power-assisted steering system, working in combination with an optimized front suspension knuckle design and shorter steering link arms, delivers responsive steering with outstanding feel.
To ensure there was no compromise to the precision and connected feel offered by the steering, additional stiffening measures were introduced to the chassis – notably in the rear subframe – and the rear body structure. These measures increased the vehicle’s overall torsional stiffness by 23 percent compared to a standard Focus model.
Ford engineers worked closely with Michelin to develop a choice of high-performance 235/35 R19 tires to complement the driving dynamics of the Focus RS: a standard Pilot Super Sport tire for everyday use.
The vehicle’s exterior design has also been developed to support the driving dynamics. Careful aerodynamic optimization of the front splitter, rear spoiler and underbody features eliminates lift forces, and the final design delivers a balanced performance with zero lift front and rear for optimum high-speed handling and stability.
With a drag coefficient of 0.355, the shape of the new model is 6.0-percent more aerodynamic than the previous Focus RS, and with its more compact frontal area, the vehicle generates 9.0-percent less drag, improving high-speed performance and reducing fuel consumption.
Advanced performance technologies
The all-new Focus RS offers advanced performance and driver assistance technologies to help ensure that its extreme driving capabilities are accessible to drivers of all skill levels.
The driver can select four different Drive Modes to configure the vehicle to deliver optimum performance in a range of driving conditions – with Normal or Sport settings for on-road driving, and Track or a special Drift Mode for circuit use only.
Each mode can be selected using a carefully-located switch alongside the gear lever, and has specific settings for the AWD system, damper controls, Electronic Stability Control system, steering and engine responses, and exhaust valve.
The industry-first Drift Mode features a specially developed calibration for the AWD system that modifies the torque distribution to help the driver achieve controlled oversteer drifts under circuit conditions. Both damper and steering settings are set to normal, providing enhanced control through smoother load transfers and lighter steering inputs.
For ultimate performance off the start-line, Launch Control configures the vehicle’s chassis and power train systems to deliver the fastest possible acceleration, whatever the track conditions. The driver selects Launch Control from the cluster menu, engages first gear, applies full throttle and then releases the clutch. The vehicle then delivers optimum drive – including distributing torque through the AWD system, maintaining maximum torque using turbo overboost function, managing the traction control system and setting the dampers.
To achieve maximum acceleration through the gears, a Performance Shift Light in the instrument cluster alerts the driver when approaching the optimum upshift point of 5,900 revolutions per minute, and flashes if the engine hits the limit of 6,800 rpm.
For enhanced braking during hard track driving, the all-new Focus RS features the most powerful brake system ever fitted to an RS model, with 350-millimeter ventilated front discs and aluminum Brembo four-piston monoblock calipers – painted in distinctive RS blue with a Brembo logo available as an option.
To help avoid brake fade even under sustained track use, brake cooling has been maximized through dedicated cooling ducts fed from the front fascia, twin “jet tunnels” in the underbody, and airflow guides on the lower suspension arms.
High-performance EcoBoost power train
The new 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine for the all-new Focus RS shares its fundamental structure with the all-aluminum four-cylinder engine in the all-new Ford Mustang. The engine has been significantly upgraded for the Focus RS to deliver 10 percent more power with a maximum output of 350 PS (345 hp).
Increased output is generated by a new low-inertia twin-scroll turbocharger with larger compressor that delivers significantly greater airflow, along with a much bigger intercooler to maximize charge density. Engine breathing also is enhanced through a less restrictive intake design, and a large-bore high performance exhaust system with an electronically controlled valve in the tailpipe that helps optimize the balance of back pressure and noise output.
The cylinder head is produced from an upgraded alloy material capable of withstanding higher temperatures, while the cylinder block employs stronger high-tensile cast iron liners.
Engine cooling also has been given the highest priority, with engineers creating additional space within the front of the vehicle to house a significantly larger radiator pack – the biggest ever fitted to a Focus – that provides the level of cooling demanded for intense circuit driving.
Maximum torque of 440 Newton-meters is delivered between 2,000 and 4,500 rpm, with 470 Nm available for up to 15 seconds on transient over-boost during hard acceleration. In-gear performance is quicker than the previous Focus RS, with 50-100 kph (31-62 mph) in fourth gear achieved in 5.0 seconds, a reduction of 0.4 seconds.
The six-speed manual transmission in the Focus RS has been optimized for the enthusiast driver with a shorter gear lever and revised mechanism to deliver faster and more accurate shifts. Both the transmission and the clutch have been upgraded with stronger components to cope with the engine’s increased torque output.
High-performance design for stunning looks
The Focus RS exterior design is both dramatic and functional, with a more powerful and muscular character. Designers worked closely with Ford Performance to ensure that the necessary functional attributes were achieved, focusing on the aerodynamic down-force and balance delivered by the design, as well as the cooling demands of the power train and brakes.
Based on the new Focus, the RS features a powerful new front-end appearance with a bold upper trapezoidal grille above the deep front splitter, incorporating the largest possible apertures for engine cooling. A wide, muscular stance is emphasized by the lower wings and large outboard openings on each side of the car, which feed the brake cooling ducts and house vertically-mounted fog lamps.
At the rear, the fascia panel is dominated by the exceptionally large diffuser, which optimizes air flow from under the vehicle to reduce drag, and contains the twin round high-performance exhaust outlets and, in Europe and Asia, a clear central fog lamp. The distinctive rear roof spoiler is carefully integrated with the car’s silhouette through body-colored side panels featuring a subtle embossed RS logo.
The dynamic side-profile is emphasized by sculptured rocker panels, and the bold wheel lips that house a choice of multi-spoke 19-inch RS alloy wheels, including a high-performance lightweight forged design finished in low-gloss black that offers enhanced strength and impact resistance with weight savings of 950 g per wheel.
Standard Bi-Xenon HID headlamps feature Adaptive Front Lighting, which adjusts the intensity and angle of the headlamp beams according to vehicle speed, steering angle and distance to objects for optimal illumination. Customers also can specify the latest Active City Stop automatic braking technology, which operates at speeds of up to 50 kph.