Fast forward to present day and the Focus has undergone considerable changes: the second generation is in place (everywhere bar North America) and thankfully last year Ford Australia started importing the XR5 Turbo. Known as the Focus ST back in the homeland, it currently outsells its closest rival, the VW Golf GTi, 2 to 1.
With the success being enjoyed by Ford Europe and their sporty ST, there has been much speculation regarding the possible second generation RS and its global impact.
Recently a very sporty, very quick Focus had been spotted out and about in Europe and this naturally has only fueled any rumors flying about. A lucky photographer in the area took notice of the not too unusual Focus, sporting a larger front spoiler, slightly more aggressive styling, 19-inch wheels and a small RS badge on the rear.
At first, it was believed that the new Focus had AWD - as when the driver, shortly after giving the single finger salute, punched the throttle and a certain lack of front tyre squeal and smoke preceding the blistering getaway. However there is still much conjecture over the drive, as Ford will most likely keep FWD fitted with new a Semi-Active Limited Slip Differential to keep costs down.
It was also noted that a much deeper and meatier exhaust note rumbled out indicating a power increase, with total output said to be between 280 and 300bhp (210 – 220Kw) still coming from the Volvo Turbo inline 5 cylinder engine found in the XR5.
Ford UK’s head of performance vehicles, Jost Capito, won't confirm the existence of the car, however has been quoted as saying:
“We are always pushing for cars like this, but it is difficult because we have limited funds to spend on sporty cars. However, we would obviously like to build cars like this one.”
So with the all but imminent arrival of the Focus RS somewhere in the next 18 months for the UK, will FPV follow HSV’s lead and import a hypo hatchback? I certainly hope so. With pricing set to be in the order of £21,000 (AU$50,000) it would come in at about $10,000 above the HSV VXR, but would it be worth the extra smack? You betcha.