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Brand New Ford Focus

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Tony O'Kane | Jan 30, 2009

The last time we brought you some solid information on the 2010 Ford Focus RS, we thought we had the full story. Turns out we'd only just skimmed the surface: Ford has just released a few extra nuggets of info on its latest and greatest hot hatch.

Example: we already know that the Ford Focus RS cranks out an impressive 224kW and 440Nm of torque from its 2.5 litre five-banger, but thanks to the handy dyno chart below (hit the jump to check it out) we can see that the RS's torque peak stretches all the way from 2300rpm to 4500rpm. Not bad for a relatively small-displacement turbo donk.

2010 Ford Focus RS

Variable cam timing on both the inlet and exhaust camshafts allowed Ford's tech boffins to extend the torque curve and improve top-end power, as well as widen the Borg Warner K16 turbocharger's efficiency range. 20psi of boost is fed into the RS's motor during peak acceleration, while the 2.5 litre engine can sustain a 7050rpm redline for three seconds at a time before dropping back to an engine-preserving 6500rpm.

The turbo itself is larger than that used by the Focus ST, with a turbine housing that's cast into the exhaust manifold - much like the R35 GT-R's huffers. Intake and exhaust plumbing is unique to the RS and Ford's engineers spent hours perfecting the car's note, even going to the length of introducing a spark retard function to the ECU to generate a rorty exhaust crackle on throttle lift.

2010 Ford Focus RS

The RS's six-speed gearbox shares its ratios with the ST's cogswapper, however the bearings and clutch housing have been modified to cope with the extra grunt. Differential gearing is slightly longer to, among other things, allow the RS to hit 100kph in second gear, while the trick Quaife LSD's innards have been beefed up for better traction and reliability.

2010 Ford Focus RS

Speaking of traction, Ford Europe has also lifted the lid on the revolutionary RevoKnuckle front suspension system, which eliminates torque-steer and promotes better handling. Similar in concept to the venerable Macpherson Strut, the RevoKnuckle places the steering axis closer to the wheel's centerline, rather than having the entire steering knuckle pivot about the front spring/strut assembly.

2010 Ford Focus RS

The result is a smaller lever arm for engine forces to act upon, which minimises torque steer and improves controlability - an important consideration in a FWD car with 440Nm of torque. It's also engineered to work in perfect sync with the Quaife helical LSD and, according to Focus RS project engineer Marc Simon, the mechanical (rather than electronic) approach to maximising front-end traction was a deliberate one.

“We weren’t interested in masking torque steer or reducing performance to the point where it wasn’t an issue," Simon said.

"We have managed to reduce torque steer to a minimum, yet keep all the performance an RS should have."

2010 Ford Focus RS

Stopping is handled by big 60mm single-piston calipers gripping 336mm rotors up front, and 302mm rotors on the rear. High friction pads and the immense braking torque offered by those big discs all conspire to generate a maximum braking force of 1.2g. ABS with EBD is standard, as is ESP.

2010 Ford Focus RS

So, how much does Ford's most raucous hot hatch cost? There's been no official announcement as yet and there likely won't be until the Focus RS launches in March, however pundits are already estimating that it'll set UK buyers back €25,000 ($55,000 AUD). A lot of money for a front-driver, but if Ford's engineering is on the money then it'll likely be a genuine contender for the title of "Hottest FWD Hatch".

Watch this space, we're sure we'll be hearing more about this one.

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