The fearsome Ford Focus RS uber-hatch with its 257kW/440Nm punch will cost just $50,990 plus on-road costs when it arrives in Australia from the middle of 2016, the company today revealed.
The sharp price of entry for the headliner of Ford’s LZ Focus range thereby commands a $12,000 premium over the current hero, the 184kW ST. But it also costs $9000 less than the previous-generation 224kW Focus RS sold here in 2010/11.
In fact, at this rarefied air, the Focus RS looks very sharp indeed.
It undercuts its premium German rivals, the 270kW Audi RS3 ($78,900) and 265kW Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG ($75,700) by $25,000 and more. It also easily undercuts the BMW M135i and its 240kW/450Nm inline-six ($62,900).
Like all these rivals bar the rear-drive BMW, the second-generation Focus RS channels the 257kW/440Nm developed by its 2.3-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder turbo engine through an all-wheel-drive system — fitted in this case with a torque vectoring system and selectable driving modes, including a loosey-goosey ‘drift mode’ that promotes controllable oversteer.
Unlike its German rivals that sport an auto gearbox either as standard or an option, the Focus’ engine sends torque to the corners via the older-school method — a six-speed manual gearbox sure to please the purists.
Peak power arrives at 6000rpm and peak torque is on tap between 1600 and 5000rpm. It’s sufficient to hammer the 1575kg (kerb) hatch from 0-100km/h in just 4.7 seconds using launch control.
The Focus RS will be Ford Australia’s sixth new performance model in two years and will sit as the halo performance hatch above the Fiesta ST and Focus ST. Other Ford performance vehicles include the Falcon XR6, Falcon XR8 and soon-to-arrive Mustang GT V8.
2016 Ford Focus RS specs:
Optional performance wheel pack for $2500: