The New Ford Focus RS | Part Five

Ford Focus RS Rear Side

Ford Focus RS Rear Side

The Ford Focus RS is Dynamic, Agile and Responsive

A genuine Focus RS must maintain and enhance the reputation for responsive, precise handling for which Focus is acclaimed and considerable engineering effort has ensured that the new Focus RS will do just that.

Driving quality developments for Focus RS include a 40mm wider track, stronger, longer driveshafts, revised springs and dampers and a thicker, longer rear anti-roll bar.  At the same time, the steering system has been retuned to provide an even sharper steering response and very precise feedback.

Brakes also have been uprated, with 336mm ventilated front discs and 300mm rear discs generating vice-like stopping power on road or track.  Large calipers peek out from behind unique 19-inch wheels, wrapped in 235/35 low profile Continental tyres.

A special version of Ford’s ESP system has also been developed for Focus RS, designed to allow a very sporty driving style before activating.  Intensive work to refine the natural handling abilities of the car has allowed the ESP system to carry a full de-activation option for enthusiast drivers and especially for track use.

“We are refining all the handling characteristics of Focus RS without ESP, to hone its natural responses, rather than use ESP to help its handling. In Focus RS, ESP is a pure safety device”, explained Capito.

Reliable and Durable

In creating the new Focus RS, Ford’s Team RS engineers have had to meet the same stringent targets for durability and reliability as those set for the rest of the Focus range.

Despite its many bespoke engineering and styling elements, Focus RS will be built entirely on the main Focus production line in Saarlouis, Germany and offered with a standard Ford of Europe warranty.

A great heritage

The new Focus RS represents a significant moment in the heritage of both the Focus and Ford RS brands.

It is 10 years since the Ford Focus was first revealed to the world at the Geneva Motor Show in 1998, paving the way for a range of Ford vehicles whose exciting design was matched by class-leading driving quality. Since this time, more than 5.3 million Ford Focus models have been built in Europe, including Russia, with the car also built and sold in North America and Asia.

At the same time, the new Focus RS marks the return of the famous but rare Ford RS badge, last seen on the first-generation Focus RS in 2002 and with a distinguished heritage stretching back 38 years including Fiesta, Escort and Sierra models.

“RS is uniquely important to us in terms of our performance heritage and World Rally Championship success, while the Focus has played a major part in establishing Ford’s excellent reputation for driving dynamics," said John Fleming, Ford of Europe President and CEO.  "The all-new Focus RS will embrace and celebrate both of these – it will be a genuine RS and a genuine Focus and I’m confident it won’t disappoint in either area”.

Published 5 July 2008 Melanie Carter

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