Earlier this week, Ford released information on the 2016 Focus RS ahead of its official debut at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show. Building on the exemplary performance of the Focus ST, the new Focus RS seems to have everything needed to fully take on the Subaru WRX STI, at least on paper (and in drifting). And now, EVO has graced us with an up close and personal look at the latest Ford Performance creation thanks to an engaging design-related chat with Supervisor of Exterior Design, Ernesto Rupar.
The first thing one may notice is that the new Focus RS, while still visually striking, has a slightly toned-down design compared to its predecessor. That’s the result of a truly global vehicle: whereas the last-gen Ford Focus RS was forbidden fruit to anyone outside of the Euro Zone, the new RS will be available in North America, Australia and China, among other global markets, for the first time ever. The global availability equals a design language that fits the tastes of the world, falling in line with Ford’s ongoing “One Ford” business strategy. Rupar also notes that the new Focus RS borrows some inspiration from the Fiesta RS rally racer. This is especially noticeable in the front, where the prominent gray bar is positioned front and center, proudly proclaiming the vehicle as an RS.
Every piece of the car’s appearance in some way contributes to its aerodynamic prowess; in other words, the car has no design elements that are purely “for show”. This includes the handsome rear splitter, which helps balance out the downforce created in the front of the car, while also helping cool the muffler under extreme temperatures and high performance.
Rupar also spills the beans on color combinations that could be offered when the car makes its way Stateside. Hues include Stealth Gray, as currently available on the Focus ST, Absolute Black, Frozen White, and Nitrous Blue. Alas, that gorgeous Liquid Blue is still reserved for Ford show cars. That said, Rupar said that the color is only “currently” produced for show cars, giving us a small glimmer of hope that it could one day be offered on production models.
The 2016 Ford Focus RS will be powered by Ford’s new 2.3-liter turbocharged EcoBoost inline-four engine making “at least” 320 hp and 320 pound-feet of torque. An advanced all-wheel drive system with torque vectoring capabilities can send 100 percent of the power to the rear wheels as/when needed, which Ford says “virtually eliminates” under-steer as well as torque-steer. Forearms and corner carvers, rejoice!
Stay tuned for more details on 2016 Ford Focus RS, especially pricing and specifications, after it officially debuts in March in Geneva.