C346-generation Ford Focus RS Heritage Edition

There will be no successor to the third-generation Ford Focus RS, a source has told Autocar. This confirms an earlier report where the Blue Oval told French website Caradisiac that tightening emissions regulations have led to the demise of the Rallye Sport-badged range-topper as all manufacturers in Europe will be required to meet a fleet-wide CO2 average of 95 g/km.

“As a result of pan-European emissions standards, increased CO2 taxation and the high cost of developing an RS with some form of electrification for a relatively low volume of vehicles, we are not planning another RS version of the Focus,” a Ford spokesperson told the magazine.

A senior source at Ford told Autocar earlier this year that the firm’s engineering team had been working on solutions in order to help the company meet the fleet average emissions regulations, and the apparent demise of the Focus RS leaves the ST as the most potent version in the hatchback line-up, with 276 hp and 430 Nm of torque.

The ST will now take the top rung on the fourth-generation Focus ladder

The C346-generation model was seen out with a 50-unit limited run of the Heritage Edition announced in February 2018, and which produced 375 PS and 510 Nm of torque from its 2.3 litre EcoBoost turbocharged inline-four cylinder engine. This was paired with a six-speed manual gearbox and an all-wheel-drive system which featured dynamic torque vectoring, and up to 70% drive can be directed to the rear wheels.

The plan for the fourth-generation Focus RS was for it to adopt a 48-volt mild-hybrid drive system to augment the internal combustion engine, however the tightening regulations meant that even more electrification would need to be adopted, likely from a full parallel hybrid system from the Kuga hybrid, according to an earlier Autocar report, though the complexity and cost could not be justified for a relatively low-volume version.

Higher performance models in Ford’s line-up will continue to be present in Europe under the Ford Performance banner, such as the aforementioned Focus ST, Fiesta ST, Mustang and the Ranger Raptor, Ford’s spokesperson told Autocar.

GALLERY: 2019 Ford Focus ST