Ford’s fastest-ever 2016 Ford Focus RS model will sprint 62 mph in a mere 4.7 seconds and hit a top speed of 165. That’s the latest word from the automaker, which Wednesday, finally spilled the beans on its highly-anticipated specs. Ford is also pricing this 350-hp powerhouse, that comes with a drift mode, at $36,605 to start.
This is the third-generation of the Ford Focus RS and, not surprisingly, it’s the highest performing hatchback of them all. It’s powered by a specially engineered version of Ford’s new 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine producing projected 350 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque and all that power will push it to a top speed of 165 mph.
Ford says the 2016 Focus RS optimizes acceleration by introducing launch control technology to a Ford RS model for the first time. It also debuts new Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring for better traction and grip with dynamic agility and cornering speed.
“The all-new Focus RS will bring the legendary nameplate to a new generation of global customers for the first time,” said Dave Pericak, director, Ford Performance. “Focus RS delivers stunning performance and innovative technology at a price that will make both enthusiast consumers and premium automakers look twice.”
Focus RS launch control configures the car’s chassis and powertrain systems to deliver the fastest possible acceleration – in various track conditions. The driver selects launch control from the cluster menu, engages first gear, applies full throttle and releases the clutch. The system then delivers optimum drive – including distributing torque through the all-wheel-drive system, maintaining maximum torque using the turbo overboost function, managing traction control and setting the dampers.
To achieve maximum acceleration through the gears, a performance shift light in the instrument cluster alerts the driver when approaching the optimum upshift point of 5,900 rpm, and flashes if the engine hits the 6,800-rpm limit.
Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive uses twin electronically controlled clutch packs to manage the car’s front/rear torque split, and can control side-to-side torque distribution on the rear axle – delivering the torque vectoring capability that produces a dramatic impact on handling and cornering stability.
The all-wheel-drive system monitors inputs from multiple vehicle sensors 100 times per second. To deliver optimum driving dynamics, the system was calibrated alongside the car’s advanced electronic stability control, in particular, its brake-based Torque Vectoring Control that works in parallel with torque vectoring all-wheel drive. Drivers can select from four different drive modes that configure the all-wheel-drive system, damper controls, electronic stability control, steering and engine responses, and exhaust sound to deliver optimum performance in road or circuit driving conditions. Normal, sport or track settings are available, along with a special drift mode to help the driver achieve controlled oversteer drifts at the track.
The new 2.3-liter EcoBoost shares its fundamental structure with the all-aluminum four-cylinder EcoBoost in the all-new Ford Mustang. The engine is significantly upgraded to improve power by more than 10 percent. It features a new low-inertia twin-scroll turbocharger with larger compressor, enhanced air intake design, and a large-bore high-performance exhaust.
The 30th car to wear the legendary RS badge, Focus RS will be built in Saarlouis, Germany. It should arrive in the U.S. next Spring.