Development of the Ford Focus RS hot-hatch has been put on hold as Ford concentrates on completing the full range of derivatives being produced off the Focus platform.

Ford is producing up to 11 vehicles from the Focus underpinnings, including a mix of Focus variants such as the Focus Electric car and spin-off models such as the Kuga compact SUV.

All the models will account for about two million global sales annually once on the road, so it’s understandable why Ford’s vehicle line director for small cars, Gunnar Herrmann, says the company also needs to determine the technological and performance direction for the new Focus RS.

“We are not working on [the new] RS right now,” says Herrmann. “It’s just because we have other priorities to clean up and effectively we have to make a final decision on how we proceed [with the new RS]. We have other items to proceed with.

“We’re finishing up the Focus ST launch [which takes place in May], while most derivatives should be on road by May, with Kuga in October, [then] the electric Focus, so it’s very busy right now.”

The new Ford Focus RS will produce more power than the old model (pictured above) that offered 224kW and 440Nm from its 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo engine.

Ford is still keen to avoid using heavier all-wheel drive hardware underneath, believing it can continue using its distinctive ‘Revoknuckle’ front suspension that works in conjunction with a limited slip differential to help minimise torque steer – the steering wheel wrenching effect that can occur when lots of power is sent through the same wheels steering the car.

The Ford Focus RS is now discontinued globally, with Australia receiving the last batch of production – numbering about 300 – in 2010. That performance also came at considerable expense, with Ford Australia charging $59,990 for the hottest Focus.

Herrmann says driving enthusiasts shouldn’t be too disappointed about the RS delay, however. He says the new Focus ST will be better to drive than its predecessor, which was badged as the Focus XR5 Turbo in Australia.

The new Ford Focus ST, which will retain its European badge for Australia this time around when it arrives towards the end of the year, uses a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder with 184kW and 360Nm.

  • MattP

    I bought one of the last Focus XR5 in December.  Great price and an amazing drive.  The sound and performance of the Volvo sourced 5 cylinder is epic.

    It will be interesting to see if the new ST can maintain the character of the XR5.

    • Dave

      Nice, but really no faster than an XT Falcon that can have a nice set of 19inchers and some mild suspension work, both do 7.4 0-100

      • Joker

        Focus XR5 will do a 6.5 if you launch it correctly. Flash tune it and it will dominate an XT. 

      • Braedz

        Yea, I would love to take a taxi….oh I mean an XT for a spirited drive through the hills.

      • Car Bore

        What is it with people and 0 -100 times. It is not what the Focus RS is for. It is to be fast around corners and create a very fun car when presented with this. 

        The Focus RS is also a lot fast to 100km/h anyway when compared to an XT

      • scottjames_12

        Lol. This guy has no idea. Don’t know where you got 7.4….

        Throw some corners in, which funnily enough most roads have, and you wouldn’t even be comparing an XR5 to an XT falcon.

      • Springvale Boi

        Everyone knows that Falcons are fast. But with a Focus XR5/Rs you could brag “look mum, my Focus could keep up with a Falcon”.

      • MattP

        Watch this video to see what an XR5 (Mondeo in this case) can do against a V8 Falcon at WSID last night.  FWD beats RWD.

  • Rocket

    The ST will more than quick enough in Suburbia. The RS would be lethal in the wrong hands.

  • AAA

    Overboost a FWD vehicle ……. hmmmm……

  • RSer

    Got an RS and, i tell you now it eats GT’s and Clubsports for dinner, an XT falcon isn’t even in the same league! No RWD car can be put into a corner at the speed these things can and come out with out the rear end getting loose, grip is unreal. It is a shame ford didn’t stick with the 5 like volvo has. The noise that engine makes is unique, the new RS will be very good but feel its might have lost some of its soul. Can wait.

    • realjarod

      I have an Renaultsport clio 200 and its amazing, like the foucs RS, how well it handles around a corner. I know my car is no good in a straight line but give me corner and it will eat  GT’s and Clubsports. Would really like the Focus RS this time as long as ford australia pulls it’s head out this time and release it in a timely manner and not over priced.

  • Andrew

    I also bought a RS and have done the mountune MR375 upgrade and this thing is scary….
    Not many cars will get near this.. I recomend the RS to any V8 fan.

  • Rory

    The RS are a great little car and handle well. But it would not come near the new GT335 they are super quick, and when you put 275 on the rears and have ZF gear box they are will do sub five easily

  • Andrew

    Rory my RS can do 4.7 without raising a sweat i think i have passed a few of your GT335 on the track at the creek and the chassis is still off the shelf havent even started on it yet.. Those tanks weigh over 2.5 tonne the RS is 1350kg and mine has 410BHP  and handle better maybe the GT335 would make a nice drag car…..