Manual gearboxes will be a mainstay of Ford RS products for the forseeable future, according to the firm’s vice president of global product development, Raj Nair.
With the Focus RS being sold globally for the first time, including in the American and Russian markets, speculation had suggested that an ‘auto option may be made available. However, speaking at the launch of the new Focus RS, Nair confirmed that the car’s 2.3-litre turbocharged engine would be linked to a six-speed manual gearbox only.
“All our current research says that customers really like these kinds of cars to have a manual gearbox,” said Nair. “We’ll keep looking at market trends, and of course we’ll give customers what they want, but for now the manual stays.”
In contrast, the Ford GT, revealed at the Detroit motor show, is set to be powered by a mid-mounted 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6 EcoBoost engine that develops more than 600bhp and is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
More technical details of the Focus RS, plus its price and on sale date, are expected to be revealed at the Geneva motor show next month.