Ford has been giving us exactly what we want lately. Soon after announcing that they would be releasing a dozen new performance vehicles, they decided to waste no time and unveiled a quarter of the promised models in Detroit during the North American International Auto Show.
The models that we’ve seen so far have been impressive, but of them all, none have garnered quite as much attention as the Ford Focus RS, a performance-tuned version of the compact car that will give the Subaru WRX STI and Volkswagen Golf R a serious run for their money.
The new hatchback won’t be released until sometime next year, but as consumers have been drooling over it since the day it debuted, Ford continues to leak specific information about what it will contain. It is all mouth-watering information, but of everything to be announced so far, there are a few highlights that stand out from the rest. Here are 5 things you need to know about the 2017 Ford Focus RS.
1. It’s Coming to America
Cue Neil Diamond reference. Since the beginning, the RS version of the Focus has been available exclusively overseas, but as we said, Ford is finally giving us what we want. The U.S. release date of the Ford Focus RS has been confirmed, and even better is that we will be getting the exact same version of the Europeans.
2. It Will Share an Engine With the Mustang
Ford has decided to pull from the parts bin for the Ford Focus RS, but as it will get the same 2.3-liter EcoBoost found beneath the hood of the Mustang, we’re not complaining. The turbocharged four cylinder is expected to produce “more than 315 horsepower.” It has yet to be confirmed, but a few sources are saying that the performance hatch will have the ability to achieve as much as 345 horsepower.
3. All Four Wheels Will Be Put to Work
Seeing as its competition will be the WRX STI, it comes as no surprise that a torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system will be the exclusive option in the Focus RS. As if that wasn’t enough, the system will have the ability to send 70 percent of total torque to the rear axle. Once directed to the rear, absolutely 100-percent of that twist can be directed to either one of the wheels. Take that, Subaru.
4. There Will Be Three Pedals
Advances in automatic transmission technology have caused manual transmissions to become endangered, but once again, Ford is giving us exactly what we want. All shifts in the Ford Focus RS will require input from the driver through the six-speed manual transmission. The automaker has said that there are no plans to introduce an automatic gearbox to the RS any time soon, which is more than fine with us.
5. Drifting is Encouraged
It was recently announced that the Ford Focus RS will get a revolutionary drift mode. With the ability to brake the inside wheels when entering and leaving corners, the RS will drift just fine by itself, but when the special mode is switched on, it will assist beginners and keep the hatchback from spinning out of control. The unique mode was created with the assistance of one of the world’s most renowned drifters, Ken Block.
This all leaves us with just one questions: where do we sign?
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