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Ford unveils Focus RS ahead of Geneva debut

Date: 03 February 2015   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

Ford has shown its new Focus RS - the ultimate interpretation of the fleet market's most popular vehicle - ahead of its debut at the Geneva motor show in March. No prices are available, but production will commence later this year.

It is powered by a 2.3-litre four-cylinder EcoBoost engine that Ford said has been developed specifically for the RS.

Ford hasn't released any details of its power output or efficiency figures, but said the unit has been "specially engineered to deliver in excess of 320hp".

Mated to the engine is a four-wheel drive system. The system uses electronically controlled clutch packs on either side of the rear drive unit to manage the front/rear torque split. Ford says this delivers torque vectoring and allows the car to "deliver exceptional grip".

The Focus RS is fitted with bi-Xenon headlamps as standard, which incorporates adaptive front lighting. Ford said the system adjusts the intensity and angle of the headlamps according to vehicle speed, steering angle and distance to objects for the optimal illumination.

The firm's active city stop autonomous braking system can also be ordered. The braking technology works at speeds up to 31mph.

Inside, the Focus RS features part-leather Recaro sports seats, and the redesigned Sync connectivity system, which includes an eight-inch touchscreen. The system allows voice commands, and it can also be specified with a rear view camera and parking distance control.

The new Focus RS is part of Ford's performance arm's growth plan, which aims to deliver 12 new vehicles by 2020. The Ford GT supercar was launched at the Detroit motor show last month.

The first Focus RS from 2002 featured a 215hp 2.0-litre turbocharged unit, while the 2009 RS used a 2.5-litre 305hp unit. It emitted 225g/km CO2 and returned 30mpg. Expect the new model to significantly improve on those figures.

"The all-new Focus RS is a serious machine with high-performance technology and innovative engineering that sets a new benchmark for driving exhilaration on the road," said Raj Nair, group vice president, global product development, Ford.

"The RS line has a proud history of technical breakthroughs that have migrated to mainstream Fords to benefit all of our customers, and the new Focus RS is no exception. It's a great example of our passion for innovation through performance and creating vehicles that make people's hearts pound," said Nair.