Following the success of the marks 1 and 2 Focus RS, it was natural that Ford should look to include an RS model in the new generation Focus range.
In March, 2015, several months after a prototype was photographed being put through its paces at the Nürburgring, the third generation Focus RS was officially launched at the Geneva Motor Show.
Designed in Europe, the new Focus RS is the fruit of a development process involving Ford engineers on both sides of the Atlantic led by Ford’s Global Performance Chief Engineer, Jamal Hameedi. Indeed, although Ford of Europe took the overall lead for the RS project, a lot of the engine and driveline development work was entrusted to Ford’s engineering facility in Dearborn, Michigan.
Noted rally driver and star of the ‘Gymkhana’ video series, Ken Block, was brought in as a consultant to the Focus RS project. Block was involved in pre-production testing with a remit to provide feedback about the RS’s suspension and handling and the set up of its all-wheel drive system.
The third generation Focus RS will be built at Ford’s factory in Saarlouis, Germany. Unlike its predecessors, however, this latest incarnation of the Focus RS is intended to be a world car. Accordingly, it will be sold not only throughout Europe but also in China, Australia and the United States. It will not, however, be available in Japan, a consequence of Ford’s recent decision to pull out of the Japanese market after having had a presence there for more than 40 years.
The basic on the road price of the Focus RS is £29,995.00. For that, buyers will receive a Stealth Grey Focus RS with the standard 19 inch multi-spoke alloys. Choosing any one of the other four colours that the RS is available in (or, indeed, any other cost option from the list) will take the on the road price to over £30,000.00.
Production of the Focus RS began in January, 2016 and the car is set to land in the UK in the spring, although Ford has yet to confirm the precise date at the time of writing (February 2016).
The UK has traditionally been the strongest market for the Focus RS, and it is reported that over 2000 deposits have already been placed with Ford’s UK dealers with a rumoured 4000 limit. Due to Ford’s decision to sell the RS in so many international markets and the likely knock-on effect on Ford UK’s allocation, it may, however, be some months before those who have placed deposits can take delivery of their RS.
Keep an eye on our news section for Focus RS availability updates.