The return of Ford’s Focus RS may be on the table, with new reports out of Europe suggesting internal interest in a hot new hero hatch is high.
Reports in recent months have claimed that Ford is holding off on a new RS as it works to establish a next-generation strategy under new CEO Mark Fields, while also focusing on the first-ever global launch of a new Mustang model.
Now, an interview with Ford Europe COO Barb Samardzich suggests Ford is still eager to capitalise on the cachet of the near legendary Focus RS badge.
“Let’s say there’s a strong desire. Something like that makes a great halo car,” Samardzich was quoted by British paper Auto Express this week.
A Ford spokesperson added that the company has no intention of letting “any competitors overtake us” when it comes to performance hatches.
“You can rest assured that Martin [Smith, director of design, Ford of Europe] and his team are fully focused on the future of our performance strategy,” the spokesperson said.
Earlier reports had pointed to a 2015 launch for the new Focus RS, based on the current third-generation hatch that launched in 2011.
But, at this rate, we likely won't see any new Focus RS before 2016 or even 2017.
Test cars believed to be the new RS have been spied testing over the past year, while a bright green hatch with a distinct styling and aero kit surfaced online in grainy photos last month.
The RS badge last appeared with the previous Focus range, including a limited Australian launch.