The new Ford Focus RS is one racy little number. Tweaked to perfection by the Ford Performance Team, the 2016 Focus RS is coming to one of your outstanding Ford dealers very soon.
Well, maybe not soon enough. After you read about this coming automotive attraction, you’re going to want to get behind the wheel and test drive one as soon as possible. Unfortunately, as soon as possible translates as spring of 2016.
Patience is a virtue and the new RS will certainly be worth the wait, but man, that wait already feels like an eternity.
Well, I’ll tell you…
Key Features of the 2016 Ford Focus RS
Truth be told, there are so many exciting features on the new RS it’s almost hard to know where to start. Between the all-wheel drive system, advanced performance technologies, turbocharged engine, aerodynamics, and all around style both inside and out, I kind of felt like a kid in a candy shop as I was checking this thing out.
Let’s start with the engine.
The Ford Performance Team took the engine from Lincoln MKC and enhanced it specifically for the 2016 Focus RS. The result? A 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine with a special, low-inertia turbocharger, cooling and exhaust system. Able to generate more than 315 horsepower, rumors actually estimate it closer to 340, this is far and away the fastest vehicle in the Ford family. Never before offered as an automatic, the 2016 Focus RS lives on as a six-speed manual transmission only.
But a powerful engine is only as good as the performance technologies driving it, and the Ford Performance Team is well aware of this. Consider how easy it is to configure the RS to your own personal driving needs and preferences. Whether on the road or on the racetrack, the RS allows you to choose between four driving modes: Normal, Sport, Track, or Drift, which lets you control oversteer drifts if you’re on the track.
How soon can I make like Drift King Keiichi Tsuchiya and get my drift on?
Oh, right…next spring.
Until then, here are a few more details on those modes…
Each one of these specialized modes are adjustable for stability control, shock tuning, engine and steering response, and – get this – exhaust sound. You can control how fearsome you actually want your entrance or exit to sound.
Oh, and launch control delivers insane off-the-line torque with ultimate traction.
All of this action is expertly supported by the brand new Ford-exclusive All-Wheel Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring, inspiring extreme handling, while the Dynamic Torque Vectoring allows for optimal traction with the least amount of understeer. So, all together, these systems inspire rock solid stability, precise and quick cornering, and a premier level of performance.
Clearly all of this speed and agility needs to be mitigated by effective and reliable brakes and the RS brake system is ready for action…or ready to stop the action, I suppose.
The advanced cooling technology is supported by ducts located on the front fascia, as well as dual “jet tunnels” along the underbody of the car, and airflow guides, which are found on the lower suspension arms.
Obviously, you would expect Brembo brakes in a rally-inspired car, such as this new RS; however, even the front discs on the Brembo brakes have been aerodynamically enhanced with ventilation fins for superior cooling.
The very mention of launch control calls to mind aerodynamics, and the RS has been totally aerodynamically enhanced. Sporting a redesigned front grille and rear diffuser, not to mention a very unique looking spoiler, the RS delivers zero lift overall for the ultimate in high-speed handling. Every design detail has been carefully attended to in order to maximize the car’s aero dynamism and performance.
When it comes to performance details, the inside of the new Focus RS matches its edgy exterior. Equipped with a brand new, flat-bottomed steering wheel, featuring a soft touch leather covered rim, complemented by RECARO brand sport seats, and alloy pedals, the cluster gauge is accessible and stylish.
Check out Ken Block, Hoonigan Racing Division’s professional rally driver, taking the new RS for a test drive as only he can…
So much fun on four wheels has never been priced so low, with the projected MSRP estimated at $35,000.
Full disclosure: I’m not a patient person. I have a feeling many of your aren’t either. So, if the wait is proving unbearable, why not see what the current Ford Focus lineup has to offer?
All Made Over, Oh My! The 2015 Ford Focus
What’s new with the Ford Focus?
Oh, just a few things…interior, exterior, safety and infotainment systems, and…oh yeah! How about the all-new, and totally fuel-eficient EcoBoost engine?
This cute compact comes available as either a sedan or four-door hatchback, with three primary trim levels, designated as S, SE, and Titanium.
There’s also an electrically-powered Ford Focus, but we’re concerned with performance, here. That said, we’ll be sure to take a peek at the Ford Focus ST, another turbocharged performance machine.
But first, the 2015 Ford Focus…
Base equipment on the front-wheel drive Focus comes from the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, generating 160 horsepower and 146 lb.-ft. of torque. Both the S and SE are operated by a standard five-speed manual transmission, but the six-speed automatic is available, though it’s actually a dual-clutch automated manual transmission that Ford has dubbed the “Powershift.”
The Titanium trim level is the only one to feature the automatic “Powershift” transmission as standard, but manual diehards can still get the standard transmission at no additional cost.
Brand new this year is the EcoBoost featured in the SE trim level. This 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine is turbocharged to get 123 horsepower and 148 lb.-ft. of torque, paired to the six-speed manual transmission.
Fuel efficiency is impressive across all three of the 2015 Focus trims.
Operated by the automatic transmission, the Ford Focus gets an EPA estimated 31 mpg combined, or 27 city and 40 highway miles, specifically. The manual drops this down to 30 mpg combined, or 26 city and 36 highway.
The turbocharged Focus Titanium gets an estimated 33 mpg combined, or 29 city and 40 highway miles.
A fun car to zip around town in, the 2015 Ford Focus also boasts top safety ratings from both federal crash tests, earning the maximum five out of five stars, as well as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s highest rating of “Good.”
But for performance more in line with what we’re expecting from the 2016 Ford Focus RS, the 2015 Ford Focus ST hot hatch is where it’s at…
Hot to Trot: The 2015 Ford Focus ST
Take the four-door Focus hatchback, reinvigorate it, and you’ve got a hatchback that’s more of the performance persuasion.
At the heart of this hot hatch beats a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine, rated at 252 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque. Coupled to the six-speed manual transmission, which also includes hill start assist, the 2015 Ford Focus ST made the zero to sixty mph dash in 6.4 seconds.
Despite its power, the Focus ST still offers solid fuel efficiency, EPA-estimated at 26 mpg combined, broken out as 23 city and 32 highway miles.
Basic bells and whistles on the ST include: performance summer tires and performance brakes, cruise control, keyless ignition and entry, leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, electronically controlled limited-slip front differential, and 18-inch alloy wheels, along with fun infotainment features like a six-speaker sound system with Sync voice-activated phone and audio, and USB/iPod accessibility.
Three available packages further outfit the ST for enhanced performance.
The ST2 package, for example, adds Recaro sport seats, cornering lamps, xenon headlights, and two-tone upholstery in a cloth-leather combination.
The ST3 package heats those Recaro seats, as well as the steering wheel, and features leather throughout the interior, and includes a navigation system.
For extra Cargo Management, you get a package with a cargo organizer and cargo net.
Extra options like available black or red racing stripes stretching from the front to the rear bumper and red-painted brake calipers announce the ST’s rally cry.
Edmunds speedster, Carlos Lago, took the ST for a drive to show just how fun this hatch really is…
The 2015 Ford Focus ST is a steal, priced to start at just $24,370.
If you ask me, I’m going to hold out for the new Focus RS…but if the wait becomes unbearable, expect to see me zipping around town in the 2015 Ford Focus ST.
Focusing on these cars makes it clear that Ford really does make it possible, and oh so fun, to get out there and “Go Further.”