Ford Focus RS Geneva Live 19

While we were at the Ford stand at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, we also caught a glimpse of the new Ford Focus RS – unveiled last month at a special preview event in Cologne – painted in the same fetching not-for-production Liquid Blue as on the new GT that was also present at the show.

The third-generation Rallye Sport Focus gets all-wheel drive for the first time in the nameplate’s history, with Dynamic Torque Vectoring provided by twin electronic clutch packs on the rear axle. Up to 70% of the drive torque can be sent to the rear axle, with up to 100% of the rear axle torque able to be transferred to either rear wheel.

That torque comes from a 2.3 litre turbocharged and direct-injected EcoBoost four-pot, the same mill as on the new Mustang but significantly reworked for this particular application. A new twin-scroll turbo, a larger intercooler and radiator, improved head and block material as well as a less restrictive intake and exhaust enable it to push out over 320 PS, routed through a six-speed manual transmission.

Under the skin, the RS gets a new sports suspension with stiffer spring rates, bushes and anti-roll bars than on the ST, while the two-stage adjustable dampers provide a harder-edged setting for more spirited driving, such as on the track.

The C346 Focus‘ body has been significantly muscled up, with a huge trapezoidal grille, a deep front splitter, large air intakes, an aggressive rear diffuser with sizeable twin round tailpipes, as well as an enormous biplane rear wing. The 19-inch Y-spoke wheels on this showcar are different from the multi-spoke items seen at launch – a much cleaner look here, in my opinion.

Production of the new Ford Focus RS will begin at the end of this year, and unlike past models, it will be a global car, making its way to American and Asian markets for the first time. Excited?