The Ford Focus RS has long been a car Americans have had to appreciate from afar, but we hear that a few new developments could give the hopped-up hatchback 330 hp, and even the opportunity to go on sale in the United States.
The previous Ford Focus RS got its motivation from a 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-five-cylinder engine (known here as the engine from the Volvo C30) that made 300 hp in stock form and 345 hp in RS500 limited edition. But you may recall that that engine failed Euro 5 emissions standards (in both Focus ST and Focus RS states of tune), so any future hot Focus would have to use a different engine.
Enter EcoBoost, Ford's wildly successful engine downsizing/turbocharging product plan. With Ford's EcoBoost 999cc turbocharged three cylinder already gaining traction in 2012 Euro-spec Focuses, it may be time to think big. The current Focus ST has 247 hp thanks to a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, but Auto Express reports that Ford claims the 2.0-liter is essentially on the limit and would need significant upgrades to the fuel system and turbocharger to make any more power. Not that the 2013 Focus ST needs more power--as we found out in our first drive of the car, the 2.0-liter EcoBoost provides plenty of power and maybe even a little too much at the limit.
Instead, AE says that Ford is looking to a 2.3-liter turbo four, which could be tuned up to 330 hp. As we've previously reported, Ford is working on putting that engine under the hood of the Mustang in some sort of SVO trim level, so putting it in a hot Focus is both an unconventional move and an exciting one. It's unclear whether or not the Mustang and Focus RS would get the same 330-hp rating, but considering that the current Mustang V-6 has 305hp, we would hope a new turbocharged I-4 model won't go any lower than that.
Finally, considering that an RS-spec Focus would be based on the same architecture that underpins the American and European models--and uses an engine being developed for the Mustang--a U.S.-spec Ford Focus RS might not be so far off.
Source: Auto Express
Pictured are the 2013 Ford Focus ST and 2009 Ford Focus RS.