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NEW FORD FOCUS RS: A LEGEND RETURNS
• London Motor Show preview for exciting new Ford Focus RS
• Genuine RS performance with 300PS
• Quaife Automatic Torque Biasing limited-slip differential and
innovative ‘RevoKnuckle’, for assured handling and traction
• Expressive design exudes high performance intent
BRENTWOOD, July 4, 2008 – The legendary Ford RS performance car brand is
returning in the shape of the exciting new Ford Focus RS, which will be
previewed on July 22 at the 2008 London International Motor Show.
The new Focus RS will go on sale in early 2009 and is being created by a
small team of dedicated engineers, under the direction of Jost Capito,
Ford of Europe’s Vehicle Line Director for Performance Vehicles.
For performance road car enthusiasts, the new model will mark a welcome
return for the Ford RS badge. This will be the second Focus model to
carry the RS mantle and promises another exciting chapter in an exciting
40-year story that began in Germany in the late 1960s and gained
momentum across Europe with the launch of the 1970 Escort RS1600.
Capito said: “We want the new Focus RS to be a serious high performance
car – as much a car for driving enthusiasts as the one before it and
classic Ford RS models of the past. We’re staying true to the core RS
principles of an exciting, yet affordable performance road car you can
live with every day.”
Authentic RS presence and style
Before it even turns a wheel, the new Focus RS exudes the presence,
sporty style and lowered, ‘meaner’ appearance expected of a genuine Ford
RS. Overt performance styling details mix with subtle revisions to
create a planted, powerful stance and the promise of an exciting drive.
The London show car previews the design intent for a final production
vehicle, though as development work continues, some final details may
change before volume production begins.
The vehicle is finished in a special bright green paint with inlaid
metallic flake, a striking, modern interpretation of the 1970s Le Mans
Green of the Escort RS1600 era.
The vibrant exterior colour is contrasted with a number of performance
styling details highlighted in gloss ‘piano black’, including the strip
at the leading edge of the bonnet, the deep housings for the integrated
front fog lamps and door mirrors with integrated side indicators.
Front and rear quarter panels have been revised to incorporate wider
wheel arches and a wider track, complemented by revised, deeper side
rocker mouldings. In another visual reminder of the car’s performance
potential, triangular, RS-badged vents sit behind the front wheel arches.
Two classic-style bonnet louvres are both a styling hint at the power
beneath and a practical requirement, maintaining correct system
The completely new front bumper design for Focus RS incorporates a deep
front airdam with a large, mesh lower grille in an extended trapezoid.
Stylish and practical, this prominent feature represents the latest Ford
'kinetic design' face and also is finished in piano black. Above,
chromed xenon headlamps stand out like cat’s eyes and are framed by
matt-black housings with unique additional vents running underneath.
At the rear, a deep new rear bumper incorporates a large venturi tunnel
to its lower edge with small vents at each corner of the bumper,
emphasizing the car’s width. Two impressive chromed exhaust tailpipes
sit each side of the black venturi, creating a purposeful rear view for
Above, a unique, twin-element, black RS rear spoiler sits at the Focus
RS’ roofline, echoing both RS models of the past and the World
Rally-winning Focus WRC that has been its inspiration.
“We believe it’s vitally important that a Focus RS looks like both a
Focus and an RS – it needs to be individual, distinctive and overt in
its performance styling, but it also needs to show a clear progression
from and relationship to Focus ST”, said Stefan Lamm, Chief Exterior
Designer, Ford of Europe.
High performance interior
Inside, this theme continues with a unique and appropriately
performance-oriented interior, dominated by bespoke, sculpted Recaro
high-performance sports seats, specially designed and trimmed for
excellent support, even when driving enthusiastically. Each is
colour-matched to the exterior, with ebony leather accents and ‘RS’ and
‘Recaro’ logos stitched into each backrest.
Elsewhere, colour brings new excitement to the Focus interior, building
on the sporty interior theme of Focus ST with more use of accents
matched to the exterior colour, brushed aluminium highlights and overt
performance styling. Even the rear seats feature higher side bolsters
and a microfibre finish to echo those up front.
The centre console is finished in a stylish gloss, carbon-look trim and
metallic highlights abound, from air vents, door grab handles,
switchgear and gearshift surround, to unique RS-branded scuff plates on
the door sills. These highlights contrast with a black-trimmed roof
lining, emphasising the sporty, cockpit feel.
The driver is reminded this is a special Focus at every touch, with a
gear lever finished with a six speed gear shift graphic in RS blue, a
sporty, three-spoke steering wheel, finished with ‘Ford’ and ‘RS’ logos
and even aluminium foot pedals. The performance driving environment is
completed by three additional gauges from the Focus ST, including turbo
boost pressure, sitting atop the centre console and angled toward the
Powerful RS heart
At the heart of the all-new Focus RS is a specially developed,
turbocharged version of the Duratec 2.5-litre 5-cylinder engine.
Significantly revised for high performance, this powerplant is targeting
an impressive power output of 300PS and over 410Nm of torque,
contributing to an excellent power-to-weight ratio.
Such significant increases are not simply the result of altering engine
management or boost pressure: starting with the Duratec 2.5-litre block,
Ford RS engineers developed unique camshafts, a revised cylinder head
and gasket and revised intake and exhaust manifold system for the car.
Although the car is still in development, prior to its launch in early
2009, early performance testing indicates a 0-100km/h (0-62mph) time of
under six seconds.
A traction ‘Revo’-lution
Throughout Focus RS’ development, Capito and his team have been keeping
a sharp focus on creating a car that delivers excellent performance and
Various innovations, developed as a result of customer feedback from
previous performance Fords, have allowed engineers to keep the new Focus
RS as front-wheel drive, with a limited-slip differential, while still
achieving demanding targets for traction, handling and steering.
The new Ford Focus RS is equipped with an innovative front suspension
system known as a ‘RevoKnuckle’, which is designed to reduce unwanted
steering disturbance and torque steer, the impact of torque on steering
in front-wheel driven vehicles. Torque steer occurs during hard
acceleration, cornering or driving on uneven surfaces, when torque on
the driven wheels exceeds grips levels. It is characterised by sudden
turning force on the steering wheel and can be exacerbated by vehicles
with wide tyres and limited-slip differentials.
In Focus RS, the RevoKnuckle works in conjunction with a Quaife
Automatic Torque Biasing limited-slip differential. Ford Team RS
engineers have worked closely with Ford's Advanced Research Centre in
Aachen, Germany to develop the RevoKnuckle technology specifically for
the high performance Focus RS. It allows the simplicity of a traditional
McPherson strut arrangement, but with geometry settings that minimize
steering disturbances and torque steer, principally a reduction in
“The Ford Focus is an excellent base for a high performance car – agile,
responsive and stable,” explained Capito. “We studied at length how best
to enhance these qualities for a high performance model. Our work has
shown clearly that our approach in combining a tuned RevoKnuckle with
the Quaife differential is an ideal solution for a high performance
front-wheel-drive road car like Focus RS.
“As you would expect, we gave all-wheel-drive careful consideration, but
by combining and tuning these elements and learning from Ford’s
expertise in industry-leading handling, we have managed to eliminate the
weight of AWD from the car and still have been able to target a
class-leading balance of traction, handling and performance.
“The result is a lightweight set-up, that will deliver the right blend
of traction and razor sharp controllability – in a way no one would have
expected from front-wheel-drive, and we believe we have made the right
choice,” Capito concluded.
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
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”.
Bron: Ford Nederland
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