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New Ford Focus RS promises monster 318bhp and all-wheel-drive

It’s here. Ford has revealed its all-new Focus RS – the big daddy of Ford performance hatchbacks – at a private event in Cologne, Germany.

The new third-generation Focus RS promises revamped styling, ‘ground-breaking’ new all-wheel-drive technology and masses of power. Its 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine, which is an upgraded version of the unit found in the all-new Ford Mustang, delivers in excess of 318bhp.

To put that in context, most hot hatches at pointy end of the performance spectrum (the Renault Megane Renaultsport 275 Trophy, Honda Civic Type R, Astra VXR etc.) have access to meagre 275bhp or so.

Ford hasn’t confirmed how fast it’ll accelerate, but we’d be surprised if it didn’t manage 0-62mph in under 4.5 seconds – Porsche 911 territory.

Putting all that power to the floor would have been all but impossible if Ford had stuck to a front-wheel-drive layout – you’d generate enough wheelspin to rip a hole clean through to the other side of the planet – so it’s instead opted to develop a new Ford Performance All-Wheel-Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring system to get the power down.

This system is based on twin electronically-controlled clutch packs on each side of the rear drive unit, which manage the car’s front-to-rear torque split as well as the side-to-side torque distribution on the rear axle. This has a torque vectoring effect that diverts power to the outer wheel when cornering, allowing for better turn-in.

A maximum of 70 per cent of the drive torque can be pumped to the rear axle, and 100 per cent of the available grunt can be sent to each rear wheel.

Adding further fuel to the performance handling fire is the addition of sports suspension with spring rates, bushes and anti-roll-bars that are stiffer than those in the Focus ST and two-mode switchable dampers with a dedicated ‘track’ setting.

The all-new Focus RS will be built in Saarlouis, Germany starting later in 2014 and is expected to cost less than £30,000.

Keep it locked to Recombu for more on this bruiser as soon as we get it.



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