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The new Ford Focus RS is already one of the quickest and wildest hot hatches in the world – so the Rallycross version, the Ford Focus RS RX, is truly manic.

Debuting in Portugal for the FIA World Rallycross Championship last weekend, the Focus RS RX can sprint from 0-60mph (0-97km/h) in less than two seconds – but then, thanks to FIA specifications, so can its rivals.

Helping the Focus RS RX to achieve that brisk acceleration is an FIA-specified 2.0-litre turbocharged engine generating 447kW coupled to and all-wheel-drive system – the ‘regular’ Focus RS produces 257kW from its 2.3-litre Ecoboost engine, and hits 100km/h from standstill in 4.7 seconds.

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The RS RX is the product of a global collaboration between Ford Performance, Ken Block’s Hoonigan Racing Division and UK-based company M-Sport – not to be confused with BMW’s performance division.

Piloted by American stunt driver Ken Block himself and Norway’s Andreas Bakkerud, the Ford Focus RS RX made its rallycross debut at the season-opening Bompiso Rallycross of Portugal, which took place at the town of Montalegre in the hills of the Vila region.

The Focus RS RX competed in a pool of 23 Rallycross supercars, each producing 600 horsepower (447kW), which went head-to-head in Portugal over four qualifying sessions, two semi-finals and one final.

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Portugal’s circuit presents a unique challenge for drivers and engineers: at 1800 metres above sea level it is the highest event on the World Rallycross calendar, so engines need to be finely tuned to achieve peak performance at the high altitude.

The Hoonigan Racing Focus RS RX arrived in Portugal fresh off a test at Kirkbride airfield in Cumbria, UK, which can be viewed in the video above.

After the first event of the season Hoonigan Racing Division sits at fourth out of seven teams in the World RX official standings.

Known for pushing the limits, Ken Block is responsible for his online stunt drive videos, wild Ford performance concepts, and has also competed in the X Games, Global RallyCross, Rally America, Gymkhana Grid and the World Rally Championship.

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