Ford already spilled the beans that it intends to push the all-new 2012 Focus into motorsports events around the world, but it refrained from showing us what a race-spec form of its new global compact car could look like until now. The 2012 Focus Race Car Concept, which debuts later today at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show, is designed to give us a sneak peek at what lies ahead.
Much like the street-legal 2012 Focus, the race vehicle previewed here is truly an international affair. Engineers and race teams from around the world worked to design a single vehicle platform that could be easily adapted and prepared to compete in a number of race series both in North America and Europe.
"This team work resulted in a global race platform using a common Focus body and a safety cage built to FIA regulations," Jost Capito, director of Ford's Global Performance Vehicles, said in a prepared statement. "By leveraging our collective experience and Ford technology worldwide, this approach [allows us] to deliver a competitive race car that can be campaigned around the world."
Unsurprisingly, the five-door race concept shown in Los Angeles is based heavily upon Ford's new performance offering, the 2012 Focus ST -- a great starting point, as the ST's turbocharged EcoBoost 2.0-liter I-4 is about the largest engine allowed in the FIA's Super 2000 touring car class. Ford hasn't disclosed power output for the race-prepped motor, nor has it revealed what gearbox is mated to the car, but we can't help but notice Ford's six-speed dual-clutch transmission -- a likely addition to the Focus range -- could possibly be admissible in Super 2000 events.
Few modifications were made to help prepare the Focus for race duty, but those performed center largely upon allowing teams to dial in chassis tuning to their heart's content. The Focus Race Car concept receives AST adjustable coil-over dampers at all four corners, along with Ford Racing front and rear swaybars with adjustable end links. The show car also receives two-piece, 13-inch front brake rotors, along with unique 18-inch wheels wrapped in Hoosier racing tires.
Of course, a gutted interior is par for the course, but to appease FIA regulations, a Super 2000-spec roll cage is fitted, as is a Recaro race seat, a fire suppression system, and a six-point harness supplied by Ford Racing. To appease crew chiefs and analysts the world over, the show car is also fitted with a data logger system and an in-car camera.
Whether those features remain in the finalized Focus race car remains to be seen, but we're told the Race Car concept is a fairly close look at what Ford intends to campaign around the world. The company hopes the Focus can make its competition debut in the 2011 British Touring Car Championship, but also compete in events like the World Touring Car Championship, the Japan Touring Car Championship, the China Touring Car Championship, and the 24 Hours of Nurburgring.