FINALLY, the most anticipated Ford Focus ever built, the 2016 Focus RS, has landed in Australia, with all 300 of the initial shipment already sold out.
The hugely anticipated 2016 Ford Focus RS brings Ford’s most advanced and capable performance hatch to Australian customers, with more power, as well as a driver-focused Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive.
Focus RS follows in the footsteps of Ford models including the 16-valve 1970 Escort RS1600, turbocharged Sierra RS Cosworth of 1985, and four-wheel-drive 1992 Escort RS Cosworth.
The bold, muscular stance and wind-tunnel tested aerodynamic improvements give the 2016 Ford Focus RS an unmistakable performance posture too.
While its exterior’s bold colour palette, 19-inch alloys with Michelin Super Sport tyres and Brembo brakes scream athleticism, the RS badge signifies that its performance story is not merely window dressing.
Thanks to a new Launch Control function – the Focus RS also finds itself in the company of premium dedicated sports cars.
This RS has more power than its predecessor, its all-alloy 2.3-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder boasting a twin-scroll turbocharger and a substantial 257kW of power. Maximum torque of 440Nm is standard, with 470Nm available for up to 15 seconds on transient over-boost during hard acceleration.
The EcoBoost engine itself shares its backbone – including block, crankshaft and therefore 2261cc capacity – with the 2016 Ford Mustang EcoBoost.
Produced in Valencia, Spain, especially for the Focus RS, it has been significantly reengineered to deliver not only more power and torque, but a sharper acceleration response backed with a cack-and-burble from its larger exhaust system on lift-off for an entertaining drive both on- and off-throttle.
The Focus RS is offered exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission that remains true to the RS goal of the most exhilarating, engaging driver involvement. It continues the RS tradition of using manual transmissions as the ultimate in driving pleasure.
The sophisticated AWD system enabled Dynamic Torque Vectoring, which means that the Focus RS can split its torque not only front-to-rear, but also side-to-side for unprecedented road-holding.
Sport Mode is one of four selectable drive modes – the first RS model to offer such a feature – that maximise the livability and enjoyment of the Focus RS.
Each of these modes alters the steering, which has been recalibrated for more linearity, as well as the ESC, engine and exhaust settings. They also alter the adjustable dampers, another first for the 2016 Focus RS.
Normal and Sport are calibrated for road use, with Track and Drift modes for the occasional closed course and racetrack experiences only. The dampers can also be changed independently, with two settings available. The drive modes operate independently of the Launch Control system.
The high-performance character of the RS is reflected inside the car with heavily-bolstered partial-leather Recaro sports seats as the centerpiece of the cockpit.
There’s also a flat-bottom steering wheel, while the Focus RS offers technologies new to the RS marque including Ford’s SYNC connectivity system. Simple voice commands such as “Find a race track” enable RS owners to get instant directions to the nearest public circuit.
The manufacturer’s list price for the Ford Focus RS is $50,990 (plus on-roads). Ford Australia is currently negotiating further shipments of the hot hatch for the Australian market.