Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hot News: Ford Focus RS Could be Launched in 2014

Ford’s newest hot hatchback, the 2013 Focus ST, already offers a potent 2.0-liter turbo-four engine with 252 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. Even so, Ford’s Team RS is already said to be working on a hotter, faster Focus RS, which Auto Express says could offer up to 350 hp when it goes on sale two years from now.

We’ve heard several times before that a successor to the Ford Focus RS would use a turbocharged 2.3-liter inline-four engine. The engine is expected to appear in the next Ford Mustang, too, and has previously been promised to offer anywhere from 320 to 330 hp. Now Auto Express says that Team RS has its eyes on equipping the Focus RS with 350 hp.

While the company could simply strap a larger turbocharger onto the 2.0-liter turbo-four engine in the Focus ST (pictured above), doing so would reportedly compromise low-end torque and drivability too much, which is why Team RS is pushing for a larger 2.3-liter mill.

The previous-generation Ford Focus RS (pictured at right) wasn’t sold in the U.S. It used a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-five engine with 300 hp; opting for the limited edition RS500 bumped power to 345 hp. But that engine didn’t meet new European emissions regulations, and was scrapped when Ford introduced the new Focus ST.
 Sending 350 hp through the front wheels of a hot hatchback can be a recipe for torque steer and spinning tires. Ford believes it has the answer in the form of an “E-diff,” an electronically controlled limited-slip front differential. That allows the car’s computer to decide how much to lock the differential based on current driving conditions and driver input. The benefit: an expected 0-to-60-mph time below five seconds.

Auto Express also reports that Ford is considering adding a beefier version of its PowerShift dual-clutch transmission to the Focus RS. The transmission is offered on the regular Ford Focus but not on the Focus ST. While Ford would continue to offer a traditional manual on the RS, a dual-clutch transmission would broaden the car’s appeal, probably make it slightly quicker, and would bring it on par with rival hot hatches like the Volkswagen GTI’s DSG dual-clutch transmission. However, Team RS is reportedly uncertain about including PowerShift because it adds considerable weight.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

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