High-performance Focus RS now on tap at your local Ford dealer - w/videos

Hot hatches are very popular around the globe, but automakers have not always brought the potent runabouts to the US market. Ford has changed this with the 2016 Focus RS, a high-performance compact Focus that shoehorns a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four (350 hp and 350 lb.-ft. of torque) under the hood. Yes Martha, a 350 hp Focus. The Focus RS hits 60 mph in about 4.5 seconds on the way to a 165 mph top speed. Other standard features include Ford's Performance All-Wheel Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring; a six-speed manual transmission (automatics need not apply); RS-specific fascia, body kit, and wheels; Recaro sport seats; and a sport suspension system with four selectable drive modes: Normal, Sport, Track and the industry-first Drift mode. Prices start at $36,605 (includes destination, plus taxes, license, fees, and options). No performance isn't cheap, but the Focus RS does come well equipped. If the new Focus RS looks good to you (and you think you can handle it), the first examples are arriving at US Ford dealers now (see interview with first US RS owner after the jump). If you're gonna spend these bucks, go in and order your Focus RS just the way you want it. For more info, check out the press release and videos after the jump.

Source: Ford - Press releases and videos after the "read more" jump.

Press Release:

  • The Focus RS is now arriving at dealerships across the U.S. at a starting price of $36,605, including destination and delivery
  • Specially-designed 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine produces 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, plus a maximum speed of 165 miles per hour
  • The Focus RS comes packed with four different drive modes – including the first-ever Drift mode – as well as the ability to restart a stalled engine without manual operation
The wait is finally over. The highly coveted, all-new Ford Focus RS is now arriving at dealerships across the U.S. and for Jackson Gilmore – the first customer to take delivery of his RS – news of the car’s arrival was so big he ditched work to get behind the wheel.

“Learning that [my Focus RS] was going to be on one of the first boats to the West Coast, it became real,” he said. “Out of the blue my dealership called me and they said ‘Hey, your RS is here, so I sent an email to my boss that said, ‘Hey, I ordered this car eight months ago, I’m taking a half day today,’ and I just kind of walked out of work. I just bounced right then.”

Gilmore might have been the first in the U.S. to slide into the driver’s seat as the owner of the new high-performance hatchback, but the Focus RS was no impulse buy. As soon as Focus RS rumors began swirling, Gilmore held off on purchasing a new car.

“Then they said they were going to make it, it’s going to be all-wheel drive, 300-plus horsepower, they’re going to bring it to the States – and I told my girlfriend, you know, that’s the car,” he said. “I’m going to buy that.”

He has good reason to be excited. Powered by a specially engineered version of Ford’s new 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, the new hot hatch pumps out a monstrous 350 horsepower, 350 pound-feet of torque achieved with 93-octane fuel and features a bevy of tricks up its sleeves in order to offer a premium driving experience, including four different drive modes.

It’s also the fastest production Focus currently available in the world, dashing from 0-62 miles per hour in just 4.7 seconds and topping out at a maximum speed of 165 mph.

The impressive engine output comes courtesy of an all-new, low-inertia twin-scroll turbocharger with a larger compressor wheel that delivers more airflow and power throughout the rev range. Despite the engine’s high output of 152 horsepower per liter, RS engineers tuned this EcoBoost to deliver right off idle all the way on up to a free-spinning 6,800 rpm.

“You start it up, it’s got a little bit of a growl to it, it rumbles,” Gilmore said. “You kind of know you’re in something serious.”

Designed by a small team of Ford Performance engineers in Europe and the United States, the manual-only Focus RS comes packed with innovation such as Ford Performance all-wheel drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring for a new level of handling, grip and cornering speed.

“It’s definitely quick. It’s got power, but the biggest thing I noticed is the handling,” Gilmore said. “I think it’s glued to the road; it’s super tight … so as soon as you move the wheel it just points in and hugs the turn. It’s awesome, honestly.”

For the first time, the RS model gets four selectable drive modes: Normal, Sport, Track and the industry-first Drift mode that allows drivers to perform controlled oversteer drifts. Each mode configures the hatchback’s all-wheel-drive system, damper controls, electronic stability controls, steering and engine responses in order to deliver optimal performance based on what drivers need.

That performance extends to brutal winder conditions, too. The Focus RS is the first car in North America to offer a winter tire and wheel option as a factory accessory, featuring Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 tires, pressure monitoring sensors and fully mounted center caps, all of which were tested in the extreme cold and snow of Northern Michigan and Sweden.

Even in the event of an engine stall, the Focus RS comes prepared with a handy trick called stall recovery. There will be no need for drivers to manually restart the engine or move the gear selector to neutral, as the innovative technology allows the driver to simply push the clutch back in after a stall and the engine will restart.

Like its siblings, the Focus RS also comes equipped with plenty of cargo space, making it perfectly capable of adapting to the needs of most any driver.

“I actually play ice hockey and, you know, I drive it every day and I can throw my hockey gear in there, the hockey sticks, and throw everyone in – I live right next to the beach,” Gilmore said. “Having that performance with all the room” is great, he added, “but I also like the way it looks.”

The Focus RS starts at $36,605 in the U.S., including destination and delivery.

The third-generation Focus RS follows on the heels of the much-loved models launched in 2002 and 2009. The 2016 Focus RS is the 30th car globally to wear the vaunted RS badge, joining such legendary models as the 1970 Escort RS1600, the 1984 mid-engine RS200 Group B rally car, 1985 Sierra RS Cosworth and 1992 Escort RS Cosworth.

Press Release:
All-New Ford Focus RS Comes to United States with Innovative All-Wheel Drive and More Power Than Ever Before

  • All-new Ford Focus RS introduces advanced performance technologies for an ultimate driving experience; pioneers innovative, race-inspired Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive, and industry-first drift mode
  • All-new Focus RS will be the first-ever global model; arrives in North America in spring 2016
  • Aggressive, functional design inside and out makes Focus RS the most powerful production Focus ever, with highly capable performance on both road and track, and powered by Ford’s 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine
The most powerful production Focus ever is coming to America. A high-performance road car, Ford Focus RS debuts all-new, race-inspired Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring, which actively distributes torque to each wheel to improve handling performance.

The all-wheel-drive system is tuned for exceptional grip – with lateral acceleration exceeding 1 g – and class-leading cornering speed and acceleration out of a bend. With neutral and adjustable limit handling, and the ability to achieve controlled oversteer drifts at the track, the system helps deliver the ultimate fun-to-drive experience. To achieve this level of performance, the system monitors inputs from multiple vehicle sensors 100 times per second.

Focus RS is equipped with a unique 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine expected to produce 350 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque between 2,000 rpm and 4,500 rpm.

Styling includes an aggressive new front-end appearance with a bold upper trapezoidal grille above the deep front splitter, incorporating the largest possible openings for engine cooling. The wide, muscular stance is emphasized by brake cooling ducts and vertically mounted fog lamps.

The high-performance character is reflected inside the car with heavily bolstered Recaro sports seats, a stout new flat-bottomed steering wheel with soft-feel, leather-covered rim, metal pedals and unique instrument graphics. The distinctive blue RS theme includes stitching on the seats, steering wheel, floor mats and interior trim, a colored graphic on the gear shifter, and RS logo on the seats, steering wheel and door scuff plates.

Press Release:
  • All-new 2016 Ford Focus RS sprints from 0-62 mph in 4.7 seconds and reaches a maximum speed of 165 mph
  • Fastest-ever Ford RS model will start at $36,605 featuring Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive and a projected 350 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque from its 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine
  • Innovative Focus RS offers drive modes – including industry-first drift mode – along with launch control; customer deliveries of high-performance hatchback start in North America in spring 2016
Ford Motor Company’s all-new Focus RS will sprint from 0-62 mph in 4.7 seconds – making the high-performance hatchback the fastest-accelerating RS model yet.

Focus RS – powered by a specially engineered version of Ford’s new 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine producing projected 350 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque – will reach a top speed of 165 mph.

For the United States, Focus RS pricing will start at $36,605.

The all-new 2016 Focus RS optimizes acceleration by introducing launch control technology to a Ford RS model for the first time. Focus RS also debuts new Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring – for outstanding traction and grip with dynamic agility and cornering speed.

“The all-new Focus RS will bring the legendary nameplate to a new generation of global customers for the first time,” said Dave Pericak, director, Ford Performance. “Focus RS delivers stunning performance and innovative technology at a price that will make both enthusiast consumers and premium automakers look twice.”

Focus RS launch control configures the car’s chassis and powertrain systems to deliver the fastest possible acceleration – in various track conditions. The driver selects launch control from the cluster menu, engages first gear, applies full throttle and releases the clutch. The system then delivers optimum drive – including distributing torque through the all-wheel-drive system, maintaining maximum torque using the turbo overboost function, managing traction control 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 rpm, and flashes if the engine hits the 6,800-rpm limit.

Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive uses twin electronically controlled clutch packs to manage the car’s front/rear torque split, and can control side-to-side torque distribution on the rear axle – delivering the torque vectoring capability that produces a dramatic impact on handling and cornering stability.

The all-wheel-drive system monitors inputs from multiple vehicle sensors 100 times per second. To deliver optimum driving dynamics, the system was calibrated alongside the car’s advanced electronic stability control, in particular, its brake-based Torque Vectoring Control that works in parallel with torque vectoring all-wheel drive.

Focus RS drivers can select from four different drive modes that configure the all-wheel-drive system, damper controls, electronic stability control, steering and engine responses, and exhaust sound to deliver optimum performance in road or circuit driving conditions. Normal, sport or track settings are available, along with a special drift mode to help the driver achieve controlled oversteer drifts at the track.

The new 2.3-liter EcoBoost shares its fundamental structure with the all-aluminum four-cylinder EcoBoost in the all-new Ford Mustang. The engine is significantly upgraded to improve power by more than 10 percent. It features a new low-inertia twin-scroll turbocharger with larger compressor, enhanced air intake design, and a large-bore high-performance exhaust.

Developed by a team of Ford Performance engineers in Europe and the United States, the all-new Focus RS is the third-generation Focus RS – following models launched in 2002 and 2009.

Ford Performance serves as an innovation laboratory and test bed to create unique performance vehicles, parts, accessories and experiences for customers. The group’s work in aerodynamics, light-weighting, electronics, powertrain performance and fuel efficiency can be applied more broadly across Ford’s product portfolio.

The 30th car to wear the legendary RS badge, Focus RS will be built in Saarlouis, Germany, and is one of 12 new performance vehicles Ford will bring to customers globally through 2020 as part of a new era of Ford performance. Ford expects delivery to North American customers in spring 2016.

Ford Motor Company is a global automotive and mobility company based in Dearborn, Michigan. With about 201,000 employees and 67 plants worldwide, the company’s core business includes designing, manufacturing, marketing, financing and servicing a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs and electrified vehicles, as well as Lincoln luxury vehicles. At the same time, Ford aggressively is pursuing emerging opportunities through Ford Smart Mobility, the company’s plan to be a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide or Ford Motor Credit Company, visit www.corporate.ford.com.