Its direct targets: Audi Sport and AMG.
We already knew that this is the final model year for the current Ford Focus RS. But have no worries, a successor is very much in the cards, and this latest report from Autocar should get you plenty excited. According to its sources, the next Focus RS, due in 2020, will be a mild-hybrid that will not only increase overall efficiency, but output as well. How does at least 400 hp and 425 lb-ft of torque sound to you? We thought so. The current car's 2.3 - liter turbocharged 4-cylinder will remain but will undergo a series of modifications.
With the Mountune treatment, this engine can do 370 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque, so bumping it up another 30 hp and 70 lb-ft or so is totally feasible. This will reportedly be accomplished by a 48V integrated starter/generator system, also capable of reducing C02 and saving fuel. Equally important, it's better at collecting regenerated energy from braking as well as improving low-speed accelerator response with additional torque from a standstill. As a result, overall acceleration times will improve and the engine will be able to better operate at a greater frequency in its most efficient power bands. Speaking of acceleration, expect it to improve from today's 0-60 mph time of 4.6 seconds to around 4.2 seconds.
And yes, that'll effectively put the next Focus RS directly in Mercedes-AMG A45 acceleration territory. Unlike with today's Focus RS, a dual-clutch transmission is a likely future option but the six-speed manual is expected to return. How come? Because Americans want manuals, plain and simple. Also, the five-door hatchback body style will remain, and Ford, at least so far, has no plans for a three-door variant, let alone a sedan. Only the other day did Ford begin teasing its next generation Focus, scheduled to be revealed in full on April 10. We know it'll be offered with LED headlights and a number of other high-end features. It's also said to lose around 110 pounds. A new ST variant is also expected, and that will likely launch before the next RS.
Above all, Ford has fully recognized the importance of its RS brand. Valuable resources have been and continue to be diverted to Ford Performance specifically to make the next RS better in every way over the current car. Although Ford likes to say the Focus RS is a more affordable alternative to pricier German-built competitors, the new RS will almost certainly have a price hike. By how much remains unknown for now.