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by Jay Traugott
Now this is what we're talking about: A five-door hot hatch with more horsepower than the Mustang V6. Please Ford, make this happen.
Thanks to Dearborn's "One Ford" global product strategy, US buyers are finally able to get their hands on a number of models that used to be exclusive to Europe, among them the Focus ST hot hatch which is now arriving in showrooms. But there's still another Focus performance variant that Ford of Europe built for the last gen model that needs to make it across the pond: the Focus RS. Greedy are we? No, we just love horsepower, and we're rather fond of hot hatches, too.
In a new report coming from PistonHeads, not only is it likely that Ford will indeed bring the next RS Stateside but that it could have up to 350 horsepower - nearly 100 more ponies than the ST. According to Len Urwin, the powertrain engineering manager of Ford's Euro performance division, "You can drop in a mechanical diff as we did with the previous Focus RS...but an E-diff would take that a step forward in that you can really optimize traction in all situations." While the last Focus RS was powered by a 2.5-liter inline-five with 305 hp, the new car's engine probably won't be a tuned version of the 2.0 EcoBoost that powers the Focus ST.
The reason? Urwin believes that engine could be upped only by an additional 50 hp, but that could be a bit problematic because the turbocharger that would be needed would be so large that the lag would stymie low-end torque response. PistonHeads believes the solution here lies in the rumored 2.3-liter EcoBoost that's supposedly being developed and that's said to be capable of hitting 350 hp. Like the ST, the Focus RS would also be front-driver and will more than likely only be offered as a five-door hatch. If this is in fact Ford's plan then it sounds like the VW Golf R is going to have a fearsome new American competitor to contend with.