The engine itself is still the Volvo-derived 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbocharged engine that powers the ST, but it gets a bigger turbocharger and intercooler. The camshafts, con rods, cylinder head, exhaust system and intake manifold have all been entirely redesigned. Boost will be higher – possibly as much as 1.4 bar – but that has yet to be confirmed for homologation purposes.
The RS will use exactly the same six-speed Getrag manual gearbox as the regular ST but will have a meatier, short-shift gearchange. The ratios will remain unchanged but the gearing will be slightly longer overall due to the standard fit 19in wheels. As expected it’ll also get a Quaife mechanical limited slip differential, similar in design to the one fitted to the previous Focus RS, but with all components beefed up to handle the extra torque of new RS.
The RS will share its basic chassis architecture with the ST but gains an intreguing new piece of tech within its front struts known as the revo-knuckle. In practice this absorbs twist action without affecting the operation of the strut under load and is claimed to effectively eliminate torque steer.The front and rear tracks are also wider by 40mm, giving the car a wider, lower-looking stance. Front and rear spring and damper rates have been significantly uprated over those of the ST, and at the rear the suspension geometry has been reworked to allow a bigger anti-roll bar to be fitted.
As on the ST you will be able to select between three different levels of power steering assistance weights, but the RS will get a bespoke steering rack that’s a quarter turn quicker between the locks, despite providing a slightly better turning circle than the ST. On the road we’re promised that this will make the RS feel much sharper than the ST. Ford doesn’t know the exact kerbweight of the car because it hasn’t built a production example yet, but the engineering team say it should be less than 100kg heavier than the ST – which means somewhere south of 1500kg.