There's still hope the hardcore Focus RS could make a comeback.
After the new Ford Focus ST debuted last year, it seemed inevitable that a new version of the hardcore Focus RS would follow to fight the upcoming 2021 Volkswagen Golf R. This week, however, a report claimed the new Focus RS has been canceled as it failed to meet European emissions regulations.
Allegedly, Ford also couldn't justify the costs of boosting the Ford Escape's hybrid 2.5-liter inline-four engine up to 400 horsepower for the Focus RS. However, Ford Australia has told Car Advice the new Focus RS might not be dead just yet.
"It's far too early to speculate on any future plans for RS," a Ford spokesperson told the publication. "The 'C2' platform that underpins the new-generation Focus features an up-to-the-minute, highly-advanced technology-laden architecture. [The platform] has enabled our Focus line-up a range of efficient powertrains." Ford will continue to invest in its C2 platform as it will also underpin the upcoming plug-in hybrid Escape later this year.
Ford Australia also points out that Caradisiac may have been too hasty reporting the death of the new Focus RS. In previous generations, the Focus RS launched towards the end of the car's lifecycle, serving as a swansong before the next-generation model arrives.
Since the fourth-generation Focus launched in 2018, the new hardcore Focus RS won't arrive until around 2024 if it gets the green light for production. We're keeping our fingers crossed that Ford finds a solution by then to enable the hardcore hatchback to pass emissions regulations.
Even if the new Focus RS isn't dead, don't get your hopes up about it coming to America, despite the previous Focus RS being a hot seller in the US. Since Ford is focusing on the lucrative crossover market, the fourth-generation Focus isn't sold in the US. Neither is the sporty Focus ST, sadly.