Tony O'Kane | Feb 17, 2012

The Ford Focus RS won praise from the world's motoring press for its sophisticated suspension design and gutsy turbocharged five cylinder engine.

Its muscular three-door body also attracted plenty of fans, and the Focus RS had just the right amount of "show" to match its "go".

For the next generation model, rumour has it that the Focus RS will be built as a five-door hatch only, with a four-cylinder engine instead of the previous Volvo-sourced inline five.

Power from the 2.3 litre Ecoboost four-pot is expected to hover around the 240kW mark - 15kW above the last RS and well above that of competing hot hatches like the RenaultSport Megane and Scirocco R.

In fact, that's more power than a Subaru WRX STI, and only 5kW shy of the Nissan 370Z.

Despite such prodigious power figures the new RS will supposedly remain front-wheel drive, with Ford's engineers deeming the extra weight and cost of an all-wheel drive system to not be worth the performance gain.

Instead, the company's RevoKnuckle front suspension system - which served the last Focus RS extremely well - will make a return in the new RS.

According to British mag Top Gear, the new RS will also debut a new active noise-cancelling technology, which will cut out road noise and wind roar in order to amplify the sound of the engine.

The off-beat note of the old five-cylinder will be gone, but Ford is supposedly doing everything it can to make the new RS sound as good as it goes.

The development of a new Focus RS has yet to be officially acknowledged by Ford, however some sources say a 2015 debut is on the cards. We'll see.

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