The hot hatch segment began in the early Eighties, when VW first brought over the loved as much now as then first generation GTI. At the time, the roughly $8,500 Rabbit could devour the benchmark 0-60 test in a scorching 10.6 seconds. A few years later, there was a battle in the media over the 4.0 second time, between the Buick Regal Grand National and the Porsche 911 Turbo. The real numbers for those cars were close to half a second slower.
Fast forward a few decades and today’s news from Ford would indicate that they have won the final battle in the hot hatch wars with a blistering 4.7 0-60 time from the upcoming Focus RS.
4.7 0-100 km/h and 265 kp/h from a four banger!
A lot has changed over the years. An ’82 GTI generated a whopping 90 horsepower while the iconic 911 Turbo of the era churned out about 300. The Focus RS by comparison cranks out 350 horsepower and an equivalent torque figure.
Oh, it is also all wheel drive and features a drift mode!
Ford of Canada press release
DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 16, 2015 – Ford Motor Company’s all-new Focus RS will sprint from 0-100kph in 4.7 seconds – making the high-performance hatchback the fastest-accelerating RS model yet.
Focus RS – powered by a specially engineered version of Ford’s new 2.3-litre EcoBoost® engine producing projected 350 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque – will reach a top speed of 265kph.
Focus RS pricing will start in Canada will start at $46,969.
The all-new 2016 Focus RS optimizes acceleration by introducing launch control technology to a Ford RS model for the first time. Focus RS also debuts new Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring – for outstanding 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.
Focus RS 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-litre 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.
Developed by a team of Ford Performance engineers in Europe and the United States, the all-new Focus RS is the third-generation Focus RS – following models launched in 2002 and 2009.
Ford Performance serves as an innovation laboratory and test bed to create unique performance vehicles, parts, accessories and experiences for customers. The group’s work in aerodynamics, light-weighting, electronics, powertrain performance and fuel efficiency can be applied more broadly across Ford’s product portfolio.
The 30th car to wear the legendary RS badge, Focus RS will be built in Saarlouis, Germany, and is one of 12 new performance vehicles Ford will bring to customers globally through 2020 as part of a new era of Ford performance. Ford expects delivery to North American customers in spring 2016.