2015 Ford Focus RS: AWD, 235kW+ 2.3L turbo, sedate stlying

The third generation Ford Focus RS has made its big debut, and it will feature a number of firsts for the uber-Focus: all-wheel drive, a 4-cylinder engine, a 5-door hatchback body style and global sales.

The new Ford Focus RS will be, like its predecessors, built in Cologne, Germany. It will, however, be the first Focus RS to be sold in the USA and many other markets.

Under the hood there’s a 2.3-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine. It’s similar to the unit which will serve as the entry-level engine in the new Mustang range, but in the high performance Focus it’s expected to develop more than 315hp (235kW) thanks to a low inertia twin-scroll turbocharger.

Ford claims that the revised engine can rev up to 6,800rpm. The Focus RS will come with a 6-speed manual transmission as standard, in addition to automatic engine start/stop.

Power will, in a first for the Focus RS, be channeled to all four wheels via a predictive all-wheel drive system that monitors driver inputs and channels torque to the correct wheels in order to aid handling. Up to 70 percent of the engine’s torque can be funnelled to the rear wheels, if required.

The new RS rides on 19-inch alloy wheels. Exterior changes include a power hump on the bonnet, an aggressive trapezoidal grille funnels air into the engine, a reworked rear bumper with diffuser, and a large rear spoiler.

Inside the Focus RS features grippy part leather Recaro bucket seats, a flat bottomed steering wheel, an additional set of gauges in the centre of the dash, an 8-inch touchscreen, and a 10-speaker Sony sound system with subwoofer.

With power and performance figures yet to be finalised, it’s little surprise that Ford has yet to be announce what the pricing is for the new Focus RS, but it should be a more affordable beast than the previous small-run Focus RSes.