The RS version of Ford’s new-generation Focus could be powered by both a turbocharged petrol engine and a torquey electric motor mounted on the rear axle, according to senior company sources.
Although the RS Focus has yet to appear on Ford’s confirmed future model cycle documents, the success of the current model has encouraged Ford management to keep the project in pre-development.
The man in charge of Ford’s global development, Derrick Kuzak, confirmed at this year’s Geneva show that the company would build a “global performance version” of the all-new Focus.
Insiders say this global model will use Ford’s turbocharged 2.0-litre Ecoboost petrol engine, producing 250bhp and driving the front wheels.
Ford has just started discussions on what to call the car; hot Fords have been known as ST, SVT and XR in various markets.
A new RS Focus, however, will have to be significantly more powerful — a tricky job when Ford’s Team RS will probably not be able to use today’s Volvo-derived five-cylinder turbo motor, which is good for 345bhp in the Focus RS500.
Team RS, led by Jost Capito, is keen to reflect the strong prevailing environmental concerns within the motor industry with a future mega-Focus.
Very senior sources within Ford have told Autocar that Team RS has started early conceptual studies into matching the 2.0-litre Ecoboost engine with an electric motor mounted on the Focus’s rear axle.
Ford has already explored this technology on the 2005 Reflex concept, and it’s just about to be adopted by Peugeot on the 508 executive saloon.