Ford Builds An STI Fighter

Last month, Ford gave us a teaser of the new Focus RS, promising to reveal the car in full on February 3rd. Enthusiasts across the world have been awaiting details on the next generation RS, and now the wait is over. Say hello to the turbocharged, all-wheel drive 2016 Focus RS, which for the first time ever will be sold in the United States.


This is the third generation of the Focus RS, and it looks like Ford has taken a massive step forward with this iteration. Under the hood sits the same 2.3-liter EcoBoost four cylinder engine from the Mustang, but some additional tweaking will help deliver power figures well above 315 horsepower.


The bigger news might be the inclusion of an all-wheel drive system with torque vectoring, which Ford says can send up to 70 per cent of the car’s torque to the rear wheels. The only transmission offered will be a 6-speed manual.


This is all in addition to a number of RS-specific features like upgraded suspension, larger brakes and 19-inch wheels with optional Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. It goes without saying that the RS will also receive a unique exterior treatment with a more aggressive front fascia, rear diffuser and a large wing out the back.


Pricing or performance figures have yet to be announced, but it’s clear that the new Focus RS is a lot more than just a hot hatch. We can’t wait to see how it stacks up against its AWD turbocharged competition from Ford’s European and Japanese rivals.

So, was it worth the wait?

Mike Garrett
Instagram: speedhunters_mike



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About effing time......


Absolutely amazing. Great looks, great performance, and 6 SPEED ONLY. About time Ford. I can't wait to see these on the road.


tfhgdf gfghtd edghh


With the Ford GT, the GT350 with it's awesome flat plane crank v8, and now the Focus RS, I have to say that Ford is the most exciting (non-supercar) car manufacturer out there right now from a car enthusiast perspective.  10 years ago I would have never considered getting a Ford, now I would seriously consider two of their cars, three if I could fit into the Fiesta ST.


2015 just begin, why they call it 2016?!?


OMGGGG plus Honda Step up your Game we need a TURBO CIVIC TYPE R!!!!


I am amped to see how these cars turn out.... I'm sure there will be plenty floating around in my area as everyone loves their AWD cars around here.  If only I could convince myself to get one as a DD haha


Looks like an Impreza hatchback


Very curious to see the price.  This is sounding like a $35,000 car.


JanoCivicIII84 It won't be on sale until later in the year, which is when most '16 models will begin to roll out.


Shut up and take my money, Ford?!?!

Never thought I'd type that..

hash the toyota man

Looks really good.Love the intercooler


Yes! They have finally listened!!!


The look of this doesn'tlook anywhere near as aggresive as thw Mk2 Focus RS. This car just looks too much like an ST and for me it just doesnt seem as special. In my eyes, the Mk2 RS is just a better all rounder for me


according to the designer they wanted to build a wide body, but ultimately decided AWD was needed and a large chunk of the budget was spent on this new awd system.


Great work Ford.


LukeEVOVIII See post directly above can have your looks all you want.  Haha I'd much rather have this model and for the first time will.


FunctionFirst Shit i almost said it too son!!!


If i take the badges off and slap on some subie ones no one will notice right....RIGHT?!!


SeanStott Yah. And it should be. My guess fully loaded will keep it a hair under 40k. Same as an Sti. No contest which one I'd rather have though. If this AWD system works like its described and with the tune-ability of the ecoboost... This car is far and away better than Subarus current offering.


This isn't an STI fighter. This car, if anything like advertised, is going to blow that car out of the water. Hopefully it will just push Subaru to make the improvements that Subie fans have been yearning for. This awd system though... its going to be dangerous fun. Ford is just knocking it out of the park. I can honestly see a garage full of Fords in my future. They have 1 car for 1 thing and they do each one well. The Raptor, The Ford GT, RS, Shelby all make great weekend toys. Fiesta St, Mustang, Focus ST/Rs all make wonderful daily liveable sports cars. The edge is a terrific crossover, if the fusion gets the new 2.3 and upgrades the AWD system it will gain the only thing it has been missing( a sport model) and I find it much nicer to drive than the new A4.. which I can't believe I just said. I HATE driving big trucks and SUVs but I recently did a bit of mileage in the explorer and I didn't want to get out which was huge. First time I ever enjoyed driving a 3 row SUV. They have something for everyone. Ford has just really turned it around.


Five minutes ago, I was absolutely certain that my next new car would be a Mustang GT. 

Now I've got some thinking to do.


majik16106 SeanStott I liked the brand new STi but also had some issues with it.  That clutch is hard as a rock and the throttle sensitivity is crazy high.  Really hated daily driving it for the three days I had it.


Ford doesn't take bailout $ AND they start making cars that non-confederates want to drive.
So pumped on this RS - I can't put my dog in the trunk of an STI so this one wins. 
WAGONS!  Hatches!  Best time to be into cars!!


Wow, Ford has been on fire lately.


Wow. This car is gonna shake up the game in a really good way! Can't wait to see the comparison tests!


Seeing those price tags reallyreally makes me wanna move to the us and shit, 40k for focus rs like wtf i pay almost 50k for a new mazda 6.


about time... albeit a bit too late.

so whats next? ford escort rwd revival?


Matt Khoun That would be so awesome.

31 year is going to be hard to pick and choose for a daily!


majik16106 Perhaps I'm biased considering my recent Mustang purchase, but yes I love the way they are making cool cars in so many different formats and in so many different price ranges.


4 doors?

Chris 'Haffy' Hafner

I hope everyone knows it's not permanent AWD. It'll be FWD 90% of the time and then only when you push it'll start vectoring drive rearward. AKA Golf R. Just look how they explained it "Ford says can send up to 70 per cent of the car’s torque to the rear wheels" I just hope Ford grow the balls to make it 40/60 or similar, a proper WRX fighter.


I'll take mine in "gotta have it green" so glad I didn't get a new mustang or st now.


Once you see the stick price you will walk away. Its almost 40K fully loaded and 34K base starting. Ford is pricing it out of the market. Cant see the STI/WRX worrying about anything as this will be a short run of cars for the U.S.,


34k sounds reasonable. I'd never get a fully loaded car.


34k sounds reasonable I'd do that.


Chris 'Haffy' Hafner So far the released info indicates that it's different than both the STI and Golf R systems. From the press pack:

"The Ford Performance All-Wheel-Drive system is based on twin electronically controlled clutch packs on each side of the rear drive unit. These manage the car's front/rear torque split, and can control the side-to-side torque distribution on the rear axle – delivering the "torque vectoring" capability (...) The control unit in the rear drive unit continuously varies the front/rear and side-to-side torque distribution to suit the current driving situation, monitoring inputs from multiple vehicle sensors 100 times per second. A maximum of 70 percent of the drive torque can be diverted to the rear axle. Up to 100 percent of available torque at the rear axle can be sent to each rear wheel."

"The AWD system has been tuned to deliver exceptional grip – with lateral acceleration exceeding 1 g – and great cornering speed and acceleration out of a bend. With neutral and adjustable limit handling, and the ability to achieve controlled oversteer drifts at the track (...)"

From all i've seen and read I have the feeling that the FWD bias will only be for fuel saving situations, and the RWD bias will show up when you step on it.


jackal426  Don't STI's sell for that price range?

Chris 'Haffy' Hafner

Cheers for that info mate, I'm feeling a lot better about this thing now!


BrienHenry jackal426 JA und they are not as uber


IF it has a nice ZF auto, it would be a pleasure to drive inside of LA.


I'm delightfully very surprised it will only available in manual


The Performance & Power Battle is ON....if only Mitsubishi will step up and make a dam New Evo.


ebosch Agreed! It should drastically decrease the potential number of douchebags who buy the car just to hardpark it in hopes of increasing their level of douchebaggery. This car was meant to be driven, and with the 6-Speed cog-box and what I hope will be a beefy multi-disc "Mans Clutch", we should see a majority of buyers being actual DRIVERS when it's available.


LavarBowers No one that matters will notice.


eejjkk ebosch
I agree, i just hope its affordable when if it comes to Australia, i would love to trade my 86 in for this


You're a tad slow as it just said it will only come in 6 speed manual.

Charles Montgomery III

A bit off topic, but will Citroen ever sell to the US?? Would love to see some DS3s on the road! :D


Spot on! never thought I would like Ford products this much, but MAN!!! The GT, Shelby GT350 and then this pocket rocket


Its On in the Hot Hatch War....I can't wait to see how it will stack up against the Soon to be release Honda Civic Type R and to see how citroen, VW, Audi & Seat Leon and the others in the hot hatch segment will strike back at ford. Is wonderfully refreshing to see and american company like Ford stepping away a bit & from the same old big boring ugly models for retired old american buyers and targeting a more young performance oriented crowd.


Don't get me wrong - I appreciate that everything is relative - but it's quite amusing to be in the UK, with you chaps bemoaning having to pay $30-35k when we'll have to pay £30-35k for a car made in Germany.
Out of interest, what's the likely target audience in US? Here, read the threads on Pistonheads if you don't believe me, there's a big divide already because £30k plus us a lot of money for a car here and so many people believe the Golf R to be the better bet (more subtle styling, better quality interior etc) I.e. People in their 30s/40s don't want to be perceived to be "a youth"..!


@Brisk And it's quite amusing to be in Norway, with you chaps bemoaning having to pay £30-35k when we'll have to pay at least 60k for a car made in Germany. ;-)


do the same treatment to the Mazda 3 sedan, with an Evo like wing, and call it MPS


Ford is so interesting these days!
I wonder what the American client would choose - the same engine in two cars - new Mustang or AWD Focus? What the price difference would be?


don't know why but i like the old green one more... looks more outrageous and bonkers :D maybe its the wheel arches... but the old one looks like it's gonna devour your unborn offspring


Absolutely brilliant to see the new Focus RS get AWD, no matter what they said about trick diffs the FWD RS's were never as good. I hope this is the first of many proper RS's! (An AWD Fiesta RS would immediately send me to my nearest Ford dealership)
The styling is the only real disappointment with this new car: this is no where near as good looking as either the Mk.1 or Mk.2 Focus in my eyes.


AndresSolisCastillo Ahhhh Henry Catchpole. Cheers for posting this - I always forget Evo have videos.


LukeEVOVIII Yeah same for me. The video above from Evo, the head designer says other departments told Ford to tone it down to appeal to customers around the world, which is pretty telling.


Rü$╫ BrienHenry jackal426 Yeah exactly, they're priced almost the exact same. They're not priced out of the market at all. Depending on the curb weight id buy this over the STI.


Whats amazing is in this age we live in, an Auto-Manufacturer like FoMoCo is willing to build cars that 'WE WANT'
-  rather than cars they 'THINK WE WANT'


Really interesting to see Americans finally take on the European car market with open arms.


FINALLY!! Ford listened and made it 4WD!


tooslow eejjkk ebosch 
I would be looking towards $55-65,000 for the new RS.

The previous Ford Focus RS was $59,000 AUD back in 2010. Where the FT86's are $35-40,000.

Or they selling it cheaper and much it with the WRX STi prices.


Chris 'Haffy' Hafner New hillclimb car!


I have been chanting for one of these since the last generation Escort Cosworth.  It's about time Ford!


Aaron B but will you buy it?


@Brisk I'm guessing they will be going after the STi crowd. That car is very popular here in the US, so it makes sense for our market.


I'm really pumped that Ford is finally bringing their hot hatches to the US. Not to mention all the other interesting cars that they have been cooking up lately. First mod is to delete that awful plastic piece in the middle of the top grill. I'm sure it's there for crash standards.


Pedro Gonz Aaron B yes i would. I have never owned a Ford and raised a Chevy man. But watching what the rest of the world has gotten in the past, I would. Subies scare me over 100K miles to have as a daily anyway when "time is money" and Evos are getting harder to come by. I'll take one with a warranty in Green (hopefully)


SeanWilliamSphar Pedro Gonz Aaron B I was with you all the way until the green! I purchased a Ford Explorer for my wife late last year and am amazed with how nice the Ford product is.


Sorry to burst your bubble...this may be an American car company but it's designed by Brits and built by Germans.


A new century, a new Ford. I used to loathe Ford, but all tbese new cars and Cool boosted engines are shifting my opinion of them.


EhruMejil Dissed at Citroen for not making a road-legal version of DS3 WRC and calling it the Loeb *cough*DS3 Racing *cough*


@Brisk Obviously there will be people from all across the board buying these, things just like anything else, but the main target is most definitely ~18-30/35 year olds.  Younger guys who have decent paying jobs and would own or like to own a STi or EVO.  Newer Fords have started to surprise a lot of people, even this thread shows a few.  I know the affordable little Focus ST and even the 2.3 EcoBoost '15 Mustangs have changed quite a few people's impressions of Ford interiors, too.  OEM Brembos, OEM Recaros + better, nicer materials all around as well as solid fit and finish all for an entry fee that the average joe with a decent job can afford is impressive.  The vast aftermarket support that is also CHEAP compared to European competitors counts for a lot.   I'm mostly a V8 guy (have a WRX though, too) but another car with the 2.3 EcoBoost is going to be great for the aftermarket development and advancement.  I think that motor is going to be capable of some really impressive things and I think the STis and EVOs just got a real competitor.  For the record, one of the only options for the 2.3 tuning wise so far is a Cobb AccessPort with a "stage 1" map that is very basic and mild... and it's already freed up ~40 rwhp and 80 rwtq on the 2.3s.  A year from now we will see some beast 2.3s.


this is a S40 T5 AWD 6spd. same Aisin M66. same haldex system. same nearly everything, except the turbo. you could save yourself the other 30k and get a Volvo for pennies.
ford brought this about because AtSpeed, Derek bell, polestar et all already proved that this drivetrain is reliable and competitive...
ford skinned it with a focus body and builds it in Germany... lol


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If only Honda would follow Ford's example and make exciting cars again. Oh, and make them available in the US. There should be no reason why we can't have the same version of the Type R here in the US. I think it would sell pretty well. But hey, just my opinion.


Lets hope the interior is not as nasty as the old RS


the design of those OE wheels is of the typical 'only-a-mother-could-love' variety.
Ford obviously throws a gauntlet to the aftermarket wheel market, as if a bid has opened for who's gonna make the most FocusRSuitable wheel.
Fifteen52's & Compomotive's order books are soon to be overloaded, methinks...
this will be one seripus & fast platform, though, that's for sure.
Al Pinaweiss


Chris 'Haffy' Hafner  No problem! You're welcome! I'm also very curious about the AWD in this RS.

More info from Pistonheads: it is Haldex based, but it doesn't send the power to the rear because of front wheel slipage like traditional Haldex.

It has the previously mentioned "electronically controlled clutch packs on each side of the rear diff" that actually controls the torque split (front-to-rear, and side-to-side on the rear) based on the sensors' data (steering, throttle, engine output/speed, yaw rate, lateral/longitudinal accelerations, brake/ESC system, wheel speeds, PTU and RDU temperatures) - torque vectoring.

There will be "driving modes" with the sporty ones favouring torque to the rear and drifting capability. Generally, the outside rear wheel will be the one recievieng most torque.

I'm thinking of it like a stronger and smarter Haldex that isn't afraid of going RWD, but I guess we'll have to wait for the release to find out :)


Chris 'Haffy' Hafner Forgot to say it has two types of torque vectoring systems working together. The "active" one with the rear e-diff and a "passive" one with the brakes.


Looks awesome, can't wait to see the varieties to come out and some autocross action. 
Now if Mazda would get on the AWD ball with the Speed3.


this is the engine from mazdaspeed 3

Chris 'Haffy' Hafner

Dave........Don't tempt me!


kphillips9936 thats what the speed6 was for


My mps with wing will beat your evo)


as a masssssive ford freak (no i'm not a chav) this is the car they should have built a long time ago. i remember reading in fast ford years ago someone had converted a 2 gen rs to four wheel drive and its just what they always should have done from the outset. STOP WITH THE FWD! Stunning looking car.


@JJF Chris 'Haffy' Hafner I think the last 3 generations of average Haldex systems don't need slipping front wheels to send torque to the rear. I might be wrong, but that's what i read about it.


somasaint No, it isn't an s40. It has an inline 4 instead of an inline 5 and it doesn't have the same Haldex system. It's likely that the rs doesn't even have a Haldex system. Similar, but not' a Haldex.


Agreed. As good as the Mk2 was. FWD killed it. It always felt limited.


Al Pinaweiss Agreed, but I gotta be honest, the two companies you mentioned don't make "lookers" either. In fact most "racing" wheels are ass ugly. It's their performance potential that makes them appealing - not the looks.


somasaint No not the same at all, as stated before it's a 4 banger not a five, and Haldex isn't a Volvo only system. Besides, Ford used to own Volvo. so it stands to reason some of the same design/components would be cross pollinated between the two.


greenroadster I'm no Ford man, but Ford (or any other automaker for that matter) seems no more interesting than in the past. They are simply making market specific platforms available world wide.

So enthusiast are being exposed to flavors they didn't know existed before.


EhruMejil It's been nearly 20 years since "same old big boring ugly models for retired old american buyers" was even the norm in fact that's never been the case. America invented the youth performance market (in the 60s) and has maintained it till now. Just because you prefer small modified economy based cars for your speed kicks doesn't mean US manufactures neglected the youth market.

If anything they the economy here and overseas is what created a move away from focusing on the youth market. Because what 18-25 year old do you know who can afford  a $15,000 car, never mind a $35,000 car.


I respect your opinion but really, Its been 20yrs since they did that? Yeah because the fusion, the taurus, the focus sedan, the crown Vic are cars targeted to the younger sport oriented crowds right? And that is just ford im not even talking about lincoln, mercury, chevrolet, and the RIP Saturn, Pontiac...and the rest US manufacturers...So Yes it is the Case why is it that there is such a huge community for tuning, restoring and building the Great Golden american cars from the 40,50,60,70,80 because apart from a few models here and there along the following years...they haven't make anything cooler and if they do they keep it for a particular market.
Personally I don't prefer small modified economy based cars...the only cars I own that fit in that category is two heavily modified CRX-SIR and a AE86.
Of course like every other manufacture at some point they will nail it with a particular model that everybody will fall in love like the new mustang, this focus or the soon to be released GT... Why Detroit almost disappear and have to be safe by the GOV and Fiat plain and simple because they where making sober boring cars that nobody like. What 18-25 year old do I you know who can afford a $15,000 to $35,000 cars a lot actually. Often Is not them who has they money or the credit is they're Parents and Grandma's they do. Besides you can just wait a yr or two everybody knows that the american cars suck on depreciation that is excluding muscle cars & classics. The thing is that European and Japanese manufactures are more daring and the americans for years where to sober playing to safe and that not always work...they know that now and that's why they are stepping the game and is awesome. And don't think that im saying this cause im from another country cause Im not...I'm living in europe but I was born and raised in USA.
Im sure you will disagree with me...and maybe agree in one or two things...and that's the beauty of opinions. Just like cars they offer different points of view of a say the same thing.


it's worth the wait.


bland - yes even in Europe. No one drools over Volvos, or Jettas and Passats. I love VWs, buts sorry, a standard Polo, Golf or Passat is pretty lame. it's the GTs, GTIs and R32s witch attract attention. And they are still a drop in the bucket compared to the plain-jains VW sells. 

And I don't disagree...entirely. My point was in Europe specifically, unless you are rich, ALL cars are economy based. That's not so in the US and Japan. And the US was the first country to design and build cars with a strong performance base entirely aimed at the youth market. And they never stopped doing that. Even in the 90s to now. For a little perspective on what I'm talking about: the F- Body went out of production in 2002 because supposedly they didn't sell well enough (actually it was because of union /contract issues at the Canadian plant GM built them at). But in fact they sold 72,000+ in the final year.  That's alot by ANY sports car standard, yet alone a car aimed squarely at young performance drivers on it's last legs.

For comparison's sake, Mitsubishi only made 12000 EVO VIIs WORLDWIDE  from 2001-2003!! that's not even a quarter of what the F-bodies sold in ONE year when they were about to be discontinued. 

And as for cars nobody likes, the number one selling "cars" in the US are trucks. heck the number one selling Vehicle in the world until recently was the F-150. and that was just in the US. Americans don't buy cars from anybody. lol 

The bailout situation is far more complicated than not producing cars anybody wanted, because its simply not the case. It's based more in the strangle hold the UAW/trade regulations/legacy cost from rising pension maintenance that was undercutting the US automaker's profits. For example you mentioned the demise of Pontiac, yet Pontiac was far more profitable and sold nearly 4 times as well as Buick. Yet when the GOV forced GM to drop nameplates, GM dropped Pontiac - why? because Buick WAS profitable in China. And GM saw a potential for growth there - although Buick didn't come close to what Pontiac sold on a bad day.

Now, after the forced bankruptcies, re-orgs, and Union contract re-negotiations, we are beginning to see what happens when there's more money in the pot to focus on product.


EhruMejil By the way, Ford didn't uses a bailout. They saw the writing on the wall and mortgaged the whole company. That's how they had the money to weather the financial crisis of 07-08.


Hahaha!!! That was funny about the lame VW. Yes the number one selling trucks is the f150 its more complicated than that..for some weird reason americans specially in the south think being a man is having a truck the bigger it is the more macho you are...take for examples the crown sell pretty well why? It was a dam cop a lot of guys buy them to keep a low profile and they even keep the cop fog lights in the windscreen... believe me there's nothing more scary than being Hauling Ass down the road in your car and all the sudden you see a white crown vic coming in the other are like holly shit a cop.. I'm slam on the breaks and when you take a closer look is a dam young guy listening to hip hop smoking a joint...for example you can't own a corvette in the Uk everybody will think you have gone mad.
I personally dislike american cars it might be because we where push to buy them and we where deprive of buying all the cool and iconic cars from europe and japan.. they are big, heavy and ugly...and they don't know how to make power without a V8 and as far as performance oriented they are 1/4 mile oriented...and only a few are proper performance oriented meaning Normal Road with Turns.
Yes VW have a few lame cars so as other company's...but none of them are more tragic than the american cars. Like Pontiac Aztek, those ford explorers eddie bauer edition, pontiac sunfire, Saturn Ion, crown vic, ford futura, chevrolet aveo, those pontiac and fords that where actually suzuki swift hatchbacks, and all those 4 doors that your grandma and mom drove embarrassing you in school the same car your hatefull school teacher have that ford, lincoln, mercury, chevy and pontiac did during the 90's.
If you found yourself driving one of those cars is a serious warning that something has gone terribly wrong in your life.


Bridges if you mount your license plate there, you won't see the plastic part
it looks nice in my opinion, but if you buy the car for track days then you probably buy a better front bumper or just dismount that part of the original one


As a Subaru guy I want to hate this but I can't. The more badass AWD hatches and tiny RWD track blasters the better!


AglarShikhabudinov no its not


seal fish  Right, its like they have some type of agreement to make economy cars suck.  As if rear wheel drive is a luxury, anything to keep the classics the only choice.


new focus rs is great :)




I cant wait to see it against the new Type-R Turbo, its probably heavier but have more horse and AWD so lets see.


Looks awesome!


Black'd out, please deliver ASCAP looks great


Great Carr


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i want the new car


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