The new Ford Focus RS made its racing debut at the hands of Ken Block earlier this month, and now Ford has released a short video documentary revealing how the competition model was created.
The Ford Focus RS RX is racing in the FIA World Rallycross Championship, piloted by Block and Norwegian driver Andreas Bakkerud.
The race-spec RS RX features a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine with 600bhp and permanent four-wheel drive, as per current Rallycross specifications. Rallycross vehicles can sprint to 60mph from a standing start in 1.9sec - faster than an F1 car.
The regular Focus RS is powered by a 2.3-litre Ford Ecoboost petrol engine producing 345bhp.
During the development of the Focus RS, Autocar learned that an even more hardcore road variant of the car was under consideration, and that Ford Performance officials would gauge the public's reaction to the regular car to see if there was enough interest in a special edition version.
This even more hardcore RS would potentially come with more straight-line performance, greater levels of grip and a more aggressive look than the regular car. All this would be achieved through weight saving, an upgraded drivetrain, and by fitting more aerodynamic bodywork. The car would be pitched against premium competition including the Mercedes-AMG A45 and Audi's RS3.
The development of the RS RX Rallycross car was a collaboration between the Ford Performance division, Ken Block's Hoonigan Racing Division and the UK-based M-Sport.
The 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship features rounds taking place on international circuits, such as Germany's Hockenheim, the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain and Lydden Hill in the UK. After one round Bakkerud is currently placed fifth in the championship, while Block, who enjoyed a less successful 2016 debut, lies in 19th. The next round takes place on 6 May in Germany.
Watch Ken Block test the new Ford Focus RS RX in the video below.
You can also watch Block teach us how to drift in his 850bhp 'Hoonicorn' Ford Mustang in the video below.