2016 Ford Focus RS

Ford has announced that production of its latest hot hatch, the Ford Focus RS has begun, with the first unit having rolled off its assembly line in Saarlouis, Germany. The Focus RS is expected to arrive in US dealerships sometime around spring to join the Focus ST and Fiesta ST in the line-up.

The Focus RS is just one of the many models that are expected to form the Ford Performance model range, which will consist of 12 vehicles by 2020. In the pipeline after the Focus RS are the F-150 Raptor and the all-new Ford GT. Earlier models that have already made their debut include the Mustang Shelby GT350 and GT350R.

With a 2.3 litre EcoBoost four-pot derived from the S550 Mustang under the hood, there is quite a lot to like about the Focus RS. The mill dishes out 350 PS and 440 Nm of torque between 2,000 and 4,500 rpm, with an overboost function that brings the latter up to 470 Nm for 15 seconds.

The car also debuts the Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring, and features four different Drive Modes that are driver-selectable. This allows many of the car’s characteristics – the AWD system, dampers, ESC, steering and engine response, and exhaust note – to be adjusted.

To better understand the Focus RS’ driving modes – Normal, Sport, Track and intriguing Drift Mode – Ford has decided to employ Ben Collins, formerly the Stig of Top Gear, to explain them via practical video demonstration.

As you can see, the car can be “transformed” from a regular city car to a B-road charger and on to a track-day machine. The final Drift Mode allows you to be an absolute hooligan ala Ken Block by pulling off massive slides, coupled with copious amounts of tyre smoke.

For an even deeper insight into the Ford Focus RS, the Blue Oval has come up with Rebirth of an Icon, an eight-episode documentary chronicling the vehicle’s development, including aspects of its styling, powertrain and testing. You’ll also get to see Ken Block perform his duties as the “RS consultant.”

We’d certainly like it very much if the Ford Focus RS made its way here, but for now, the imminent arrival of the C346 Ford Focus facelift appears to be the main priority for SDAC in Malaysia. Nonetheless, one can always dream, right?