Huge demand for the Ford Focus RS, launching next month, has created a waiting list pushing increasingly deep into 2017.
Off-the-chart interest for Ford’s hyper hatch (review here) means the 2016 allocation is essentially spoken for, while some dealers are in a position to exhaust their allocations for next year already as well.
It means Ford Australia seems to have another Mustang-style situation on its hands. Rampant demand for the US Pony Car following its recent launch pushed the waiting list out to 18 months or more before extra allocation was liberated.
But unlike with the Mustang, for which Ford Australia created a bespoke dealer ordering process, the lower-volume Focus RS will be subject to the Ford network’s usual ordering framework.
This means that the dealer allocations are flexible and iterative. Franchise dealers take orders from customers and request supply from Ford, which allocates on a needs basis as its factory supply allows.
This means that final dealer allocations for 2017 have not yet been ironed out, though company insiders suggest the network will snap them up almost immediately. We know of at least one person whose Focus RS order is attached to a delivery time of April next year.
As we know, the fearsome Ford Focus RS uber-hatch with its 257kW/440Nm punch will cost just $50,990 plus on-road costs. The headliner commands a $12,000 premium over the 184kW Focus ST, but it also costs $9000 less than the previous-generation 224kW Focus RS sold here in 2010/11.
Like the Audi RS3 and Mercedes-AMG A45, the second-generation Focus RS channels the torque from 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.
2016 Ford Focus RS specs:
Engine — 257kW/440Nm (480Nm on overboot) 2.3-litre EcoBoost with stall recovery
Gearbox — six-speed manual
Fuel economy — 8.1 litres per 100km
Tyres — 235/35 R19s
Kerb weight — 1575kg
Configuration — all-wheel-drive with launch control
Drive modes – including industry-first ‘drift mode’
RS tuned suspension with adjustable dampers
Unique RS bodykit/fascia
19-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels
Bi-Xenon HID with LED DRLs
Recaro-branded shell seats – Partial leather/Micro-fibre fabric panels
SYNC2 with Emergency Assistance
High-resolution 8.0-inch high resolution colour touch screen
Bluetooth with audio streaming
Natural language Voice Control for phone, music, climate and navigation controls
Satellite-navigation with ‘One Shot’ destination entry via Voice Control
USB & RCA inputs
Dual-zone climate control
Push button start
Cruise Control with speed limiter
Optional performance wheel pack for $2500:
19-inch forged alloys in gloss black
235/35 R19 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres