Rumoured:Focus ST Downsizing, RS Going Electric
With the all new Mk3 Ford Focus just around the corner speculation has been increasing as to what the performance models of the range will be offering. Various rumours are circulating but there are a couple of possibilities that are starting to sound more credible.
The first, and most believable, is that the next Focus ST will use one of Ford’s new turbocharged Ecoboost engines. the most likely is a tuned version of the 2.0-litre unit that’s already featured in the S-Max, which would replace the Volvo-sourced 2.5-litre that gives the current ST so much character. It’s hardly surprising that Ford would be considering such a move as the 5-cylinder lump has got quite a drink problem and owners get hit by hefty road tax charges.
If the Ecoboost were to be used then power could be up to around 250bhp and 350Nm of torque, which would offer a 0-60mph time of around 6 seconds and economy of close to 30mpg. It would be a shame though, as that five-cylinder warble is one of the ST’s most endearing characteristics. We should know more about this as early as September when the next Focus ST is revealed at the Paris Motor Show.
However, it’s the Focus RS that’s likely to face a radical rethink. It’s looking like a distinct possiblity that the RS will use the same 2.0-litre engine as the ST, but will boost power output by pairing it up with a small electric motor that would drive the rear axles. This hybrid all-wheel-drive layout could give the Focus RS over 300bhp while also allowing it to drive short distances on battery power alone, giving it similar levels of performance to the outgoing RS mixed with a dash of green credibility.
Of course this could all prove to be wide of the mark, so hopefully Ford will release more details on the RS when the ST appears at Paris.