In the brave new low-carbon world, fast cars won’t be able to be special cases, something Ford and other manufacturers are about to start making abundantly clear in next-generation models.

The fourth-generation Focus RS, planned for two years hence, will be one of a whole crop of 48V mild-hybrid icons Ford wants to use to ‘sell’ electrification – and the integrated starter/ generator of this model is just the beginning.

2020 Ford Focus RS due with 400bhp hybrid powertrain

There’s ample evidence that Ford has been working hard for years on even more advanced pollution-killing technology – further downsized engines with electrically driven turbochargers (which cut lag and pollution), electrified rear axles (incorporating twin electric motors to provide better torque vectoring) and much more.

It’s a positive story: bosses at Ford Performance, enthusiasts themselves, know that future customers need fast, responsive, inspiring cars. Meeting new clean air laws is a modern means to a familiar end. 

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Next Ford Focus to be revealed next week with "class leading" dynamics