Ford Performance has been steadily building the hype around the rally-capable Focus RS and teasing information along the way. And what better way to show that the Focus RS can deliver the goods by putting Ken Block, Rally Car champion and Gymkhana superstar, at the wheel.
Developed by a small team of Ford Performance engineers in Europe and the United States, the 2016 Focus RS is the 30th car globally to wear the vaunted RS badge, joining such legendary models as the 1970 Escort RS1600, the 1984 mid-engine RS200 Group B rally car, 1985 Sierra RS Cosworth and 1992 Escort RS Cosworth.
Here is Block testing the capabilities of the new Focus RS at Goodwood Festival of Speed’s famous hillclimb and some insight to the car’s development.
So far the Ford Focus RS is shaping up to be quite a driver’s car that is sure to put a permanent grin on anyone’s face. The 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine has a generous output of 350 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. Peak horsepower will hold all the way to the engine’s 6,800 rpm redline.
Setting up for success is done by sending all the power to a new high-performance all-wheel drive system. The AWD system is capable of sending up to 70 percent of power to one or both rear wheels. There is a special “drift” mode that will allow the driver to hang the tail out for his/her own hoonigan maneuvers.
Available only with a 6-speed manual transmission, Ford Performance engineers came up with an innovative idea called Stall Recovery. A new engineering technology that automatically restarts the engine by simply pushing in the clutch after a stall.
Watch for the new Focus RS to arrive in dealerships Spring 2016.