Good news Ford fans - Ford has confirmed it WILL be launching an all-new Focus RS hot hatch - the ultimate performance version of the world's best-selling global nameplate - the Ford Focus!
Production will start in 2015 for sales in 2016, and the all-new RS will be made available to customers in major markets around the world for the first time. It could even make its global debut as soon as the Detroit Motor Show next month.
Ford has also announced that the all-new Focus RS is one of more than 12 new performance vehicles coming for global enthusiasts between now and 2020, to compliment other performance cars such as the Fiesta ST, Focus ST and the new Ford Mustang.
Raj Nair - Ford's Group Vice President of Global Product Development said;
"Through our global Ford Performance team that ties together racing, performance vehicles, and parts, we can more quickly bring to market products and accessories that meet the needs of customers around the world on the road and on the track."
The Focus RS, dating back to the first Ford RS in 1968, was last introduced in 2009. The new Focus RS will build on the outstanding dynamic capabilities of the Ford Focus and will be an outstanding performance car that will fully live up to the proud heritage of the Ford RS products.
"To earn the RS badge, the vehicle has to be a no-compromise driver's car that can deliver exceptional performance on the track when required, while still providing excellent every day driving,"
Below are rendered designs by Autocar that could indicate what the new Ford Focus RS could look like...
There is unlikely to be a three-door variant this time around, mainly because there is no longer a three-door option available across the new Ford Focus range.
Powertrain details have yet to be released but as the current Focus ST runs the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine packing 250bhp, we'd expect the Focus RS to use the 2.3-litre four-cylinder EcoBoost engine as featured in the new Mustang, with a power output expected of about 330-350bhp.
Despite enthusiasts suggesting the new RS would be better as RWD or AWD, we think the new RS will remain front-wheel-drive. Partly to keep production costs down but also because the last-generation Focus RS showed that a Focus chassis can handle large power outputs, thanks to cleverly developed limited slip differential and trick RevoKnuckle front suspension.
No indication has been given on the price yet either, but we would expect it to come in below £30,000.
We will of course, bring you more information on the new Ford Focus RS as soon we get it, but we'd love to hear your thoughts on the perfect specification for the new RS on our Facebook page... Like us now to join the conversation.