Focus RS caught pictured – four-wheel drive confirmed
Ford has allowed international journalists to take a peek behind the Focus RS veil, showcasing the car’s final design as well as revealing a huge surprise: the Focus RS will be the first road-going Focus to use four-wheel drive.
It was always assumed that an updated version of the Blue Oval’s RevoKnuckle suspension would be used to limit the amount of torque steer and strain on the front wheels of the Focus RS, but with all four wheels providing power, this will no longer be necessary.
Ford is quick to add that the system is far from conventional, as it is has been dipped into technology to offer the best possible driving experience. Twin electronically controlled clutch packs provide power to the rear wheels (called RDU’s) and also act as a limited-slip differential.
Ford’s Dynamic Torque Vectoring has also been added to the package, which greatly enhances traction out of corners. With this new system, up to 100 percent of the available power can be sent to each wheel.
The system is then able to distribute torque to the outer wheel while cornering which, Ford claims, virtually eliminates understeer and improves turn-in and stability. The company claims the system will be allow the RS to achieve lateral grip levels in excess of 1g.
The power output of the Focus RS is still not official, but Ford has confirmed that it is more than 235 kW, which is significantly more than the ST and the previous RS, but still less than the insane RS500. The RS500 was a special edition Mk2 Focus powered by a 2,0-litre turbocharged motor producing 257 kW.
We are secretly hoping that Ford will throw down the gauntlet and launch the Focus RS with 265 kW, levelling the playing field with the likes of the A45 AMG and RS3.
Officially the RS is is still pencilled in for a March release at the Geneva Motor Show, so by then we will know exactly how fierce Ford’s hottest family hatch will actually be …