The rumours mill is in overdrive, with much talk about a ‘Focus RS Hardcore version’. With no official word from Ford as yet here we take a tentative look at just what’s being said, and exactly what may be to come from the Focus RS 2016 – which is already the most pre-ordered, as well as the fastest Focus RS yet.
The Focus RS 2016: Already impressive – so why would an even more suped-up model appear?
There’s undoubtedly been plenty of anticipation around the launch of the Ford Focus RS 2016, with specs that include a top speed of 165mph, 350 bhp and having undergone the model’s most rigorous and extensive track testing yet, (not to mention that industry leading collection of drive modes that includes drift mode and launch control).
Yet with such a collection of specs to its name (that outshine and outperform its auto adversaries, including the new Civic Type-R, Volkswagen Golf R and Subaru WRX STI) it would appear that either the consumer’s appetite for supercharged specs, or Ford’s commitment to unparalleled performance, simply hasn’t been sated.
Focus RS Hardcore version: Just what are people saying?
The rumours have come from individuals known only as ‘Ford Insiders’. These mystery individuals say that Ford are reportedly gauging market reaction to the Focus RS 2016, for potential to build a super-charged, limited edition version. It would, they say, be quicker, lighter and achieve 0-60mph in under 4 seconds – that’s a shaving of 0.7 seconds off an already lightning fast acceleration rate, which would make it the fastest ever accelerating hatch back. Such model would be expected to far surpass the £40,000 marker of the Focus’s premium-branded competitors.
Not that we want to burst anyone’s bubble, but in all reality the development of such a ‘hardcore’ version of the RS would require serious resources and investment, which is simply something that Ford aren’t so keen on. Yet rather than a complete overhaul, it may be that the rumours around weight saving and an upgraded drive train could just be a realistic alternative. This hardcore version would then focus upon minimal weight, to improve its power-to-weight ratio – which would likely involve the replacement of current materials to include carbon fiber-reinforced plastic, as well as a switch up in methods to include polycarbonate glazing. When coupled with a 220 pound outstripping of the interior, as well as new electronically controlled limited-slip differential and the introduction of a dual-clutch automatic gearbox, that seemingly impossible 0.7 second improvement could just be possible.
So, could the Focus RS Hardcore version truly become a reality?
Well, with no official word from Ford HQ it seems that, for now at least, we’ll just have to make do with the fastest and most impressive performing Focus RS yet – not such a bad life for the RS enthusiast. However if Ford do decide to forge ahead then all eyes will be on the prize of out accelerating the Mercedes-AMG A45, as well as the Audi RS3. Which would indeed be a game changer, blurring the lines between target markets and helping the Focus RS make even more of a name for itself.