Ford’s long-rumoured new Focus RS hot hatch could add all-wheel-drive to its arsenal, if reports out of the US are to be believed.
The carmaker has yet to announce plans for a new RS, but spy photos in recent months suggest that some form of extra-hot Focus is in the works.
Reports have suggested the new RS would again feature a trick front-wheel-drive setup, but now it appears Ford may be planning an all-paw assault on the increasingly competitive hot-hatch segment.
According to US magazine Road & Track, Ford is eager to shut down key AWD rivals like the 221kW WRX STI and Golf R, rather than once more engaging front-wheel-drive heroes like the Megane RS - and Honda’s coming new Civic Type R.
To that end, the new Focus RS will reportedly send more than 260kW to its all-wheel-drive system, easily eclipsing the STI and Golf R while matching the 265kW A 45 AMG.
That power is likely to come from the 2.3 litre turbocharged EcoBoost engine that will also feature in the company’s new Mustang range, where it delivers 231kW.
The report adds that the RS five-door’s AWD system will be a new setup developed specifically for high-performance work, featuring front and rear torque vectoring control.
An unveiling date for the new RS - if that is indeed what we’re looking at here - is still to be confirmed, although a late 2015 or early 2016 reveal could be on the cards.