We've known most of the important stuff about Ford's upcoming Focus RS for some time but one thing remained a mystery, and that was the price. Originally expected to be set at a rather hefty ?39,000 ($79,000 AUD), we can now confirm that the latest hot-hatch from Ford will hit the market at a much more reasonable ?27,900 ($57,000 AUD).
While this is still a fair chunk of change for what equates to a Ford Focus on steroids, it's a darn sight more realistic than the initial figures led us to expect. This will put the Focus on par with the Mitusbishi Evo X; its performance, at least in a straight line, should also be comparable.
For those of you who missed all the vitals, here's a quick rundown: Over 220 kilowatts and 440Nms is on tap thanks to Ford's 2.5 litre Duratec five-cylinder turbocharged engine, while 336mm ventilated front and 300mm rear brakes will be tasked with stopping duties. Off the line, 0-100km/h can be dispatched in under six-seconds, on to a top speed of over 260km/h.
Suspension and handling will be equally sporty with the Focus RS getting Ford's innovative RevoKnuckle front-suspension system and Quaife Automatic Torque Biasing limited-slip differential. Exterior and interior components will be equally impressive and in line with the car's extroverted persona. For full specifications, hit the Press Release below.
Real world performance is yet to be measured at the hands of unrelenting motoring journos so the Evo X comparison is yet to be proven. On paper at least, the Focus RS looks to be in the same ballpark. We'll reserve judgment until we can personally get our grubby mits on it. Either way, it's shaping up to be a cracking drive.
BRENTWOOD, Essex, 15 December, 2008 Ford?s fastest-ever European production car, the 2009 Focus RS, will be priced from ?24,995 when it goes on sale in the UK in March.
The new Focus RS is the first Ford to wear the famous Rallye Sport badge since the first-generation Focus RS was launched seven years ago, and the 22nd since 1970.
RS denotes a distinctive blend of high performance, road-holding, refinement, safety and value for money, and reflects a proud tradition of successful motor sports involvement that continues to the present day.
Under the bonnet of the Ford Focus RS is a turbocharged 2.5-litre, five-cylinder Duratec petrol engine, with a confirmed 305PS and 440Nm peak torque. Features include unique camshafts and a revised cylinder head and gasket, intake and manifold system.
Front-wheel-driven through a six-speed transmission, the Focus RS accelerates from 0-62mph in under six seconds and has a targeted top speed of over 160mph.
A class-leading balance of traction, sports handling and performance is achieved through the combination of a Quaife Automatic Torque Biasing limited-slip differential and innovative RevoKnuckle front-suspension system.
These features are complemented by a wider track, enhanced drive-shafts and rear anti-roll bar, revised springs and dampers and retuned steering, while a specially developed version of Ford?s Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) with Traction Assist (TA) provides added assurance.
Uprated disc brakes ? 336mm ventilated front and 300mm rear ? combine with an anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) to supply a reassuringly high degree of stopping power.
Taking its place as the top-of-the-range Focus, the RS will be immediately distinguishable on the road, with its unique bonnet, front bumper and side skirts. Also unique to the model are its 19-inch alloy wheels, shod with 235/35 tyres.
The rear twin-bladed spoiler - the continuation of an RS tradition ? and the power/heated door mirrors are also distinctive, with their high-gloss black finish.
Xenon headlights with automatic levelling and jet-wash are provided, with LED lights at the rear. Dual chrome tailpipes add a further sporting dash.
A Quickclear heated windscreen is fitted, and privacy glass for the rear. A Ford Easy Fill fuelling system removes any risk of costly mis-fuelling errors at the pump.
The driver and front passenger benefit from unique Recaro sports seats, with side bolsters trimmed to match the colour of the car ? green for Ultimate Green models, blue for those finished in Performance Blue or Frozen White. Rear passengers are comfortably accommodated in a sculpted Recaro-style seat.
A manual air-conditioning system is provided, and in-car entertainment in the form of a Sony radio and six-disc CD player with DAB. A Ford Power button allows for keyless engine ignition, and a Thatcham Category 1 alarm is standard.
A ?750 Luxury Pack includes the options of Dual-Zone Electronic Automatic Temperature Control (DEATC) air-conditioning; automatic headlights; rain-sensor wipers; auto-dim rear-view mirror; rear parking-distance sensors; tyre deflation-detection; and a Ford Key-Free system. The ?1,500 version of the Luxury Pack adds in a Touchscreen DVD Navigation System, with seven-inch touch-screen.
Other optional extras include partially leather-trimmed seats at ?500 and, for ?200, Bluetooth? hands-free phone connectivity and USB port. Specifying a metallic version of the Performance Blue paintwork costs ?395, while a Tri-Coat Metallic Ultimate Green finish carries a ?695 price tag.
The standard price of the flagship Focus RS compares with ?20,408 for the ST3, the existing top-of-the-range Focus.