The current-gen Ford Focus ST (pictured) is already a potent thing with 247 hp from its 2.0 litre EcoBoost four-pot, but Ford’s European performance arm, Team RS, clearly believes more is more. Auto Express reports that the third-gen Focus RS, when it arrives in the UK in 2014, is likely to feed as much as 350 hp to the front wheels from a newly developed 2.3 litre version of the EcoBoost motor.

According to the British publication, the power increase will drop the 0-100 km/h time below the five second mark, and like its ST sibling, the RS will have a manual gearbox, but Ford is considering whether to also offer a dual-clutch PowerShift.

“There is a trend to go to dual-clutch, but they are heavier,” Team RS calibration controls engineer Chris Caven told Auto Express.

Why not just tweak the ST’s engine? Team RS powertrain engineering manager Len Urwin said that doing so would mean making the turbo bigger, which would affect bottom-end torque and response if it were too big.

He also mentioned the possible inclusion of a so-called E-diff, an intelligent active limited-slip differential which could “really optimise traction in all situations.” Auto Express says that like the previous model, the RS’s price should be around the £25k (RM122k) mark.

The third-gen Ford Focus launched here recently, along with the Focus ST – Malaysia was the first country in the ASEAN region to launch the latter. You can read our driving impressions of the Focus sedan and hatch in Krabi here.