FocusRS 1

Fast Ford fans can finally rejoice – our trusty spies have snagged photos of this third-generation Ford Focus RS mule running around in the US, confirming that development of the unhinged pocket rocket is underway.

The prototype’s ST clothes (there’s even an ST badge on the tailgate) has been mutilated to fit and cool what is surely some serious hardware. At the front, there is a deeper lower air dam, feeding a stream of cool air to the enormous intercooler that peeks through the mesh. The ST’s central tailpipe has also been gutted, replaced by a pair of large exhaust tips.

Putting the power to the road are 19-inch wheels swiped from the Fusion, wrapped in 235/35 Michelin Pilot Super Sports. Behind the front rollers lie four-piston disc brakes, which our spies tell us could possibly be supplied by Brembo and are a world away from the single-piston stoppers fitted to the ST.

Rumoured to be under the bonnet is the Mustang’s 2.3 litre EcoBoost inline-four, fettled in this application to boost power from the pony car’s 305 hp to as much as 330 hp. Whether the next RS will get all-wheel drive or remain torturing those front wheels remains unknown, however.

Of course, if the RS does get four-wheel drive, it wouldn’t be able to challenge the new Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy-R and the next Honda Civic Type R for the Nürburgring front-wheel drive lap record, would it?