Ford Focus RS 278hp Turbo

Justin Berkowitz
by Justin Berkowitz
ford focus rs 278hp turbo

Okay, so the rumors were wrong and the UK's car magazine was right. The European Focus RS will not have all wheel-drive or 350 horsepower. Ford's officially official announcement: the hot hatch Focus RS will have 278 horses and 295 lb ft of torque from the same turbocharged straight five found in the Focus ST (222 hp), Volvo S40 T5, S-Max, and all manner of other cars. Like the Mazdaspeed3 and Opel Astra OPC, the ponies are harnessed to the front wheels. While this should still be a very entertaining car to drive [for Europeans], it's not the stat-sheet blowing hot hatch we hoped for. And the numbers arrive during the same week as the Lancer Ralliart and Mitsubishi Sportback specs. Ouch. Well not entirely. While the Evo has a high profile in Europe, it's not thought of as the hatchback of choice (until now, it wasn't a hatchback at all, really). The Focus is one of the go-to cars for mainstream buyers. And we conclude this post with the obligatory "it's not coming to America or Canada." Damn!

Join the conversation
4 of 16 comments
  • John Williams John Williams on Jun 12, 2008

    Bring the Focus RS over and the raison d’être for the Mazdaspeed 3 goes right out the window. A SVT Focus will most likely be toned down as to not barge in on the 3's turf. That's just how it is. Besides, wouldn't you rather have an F150 instead? (lol)

  • HEATHROI HEATHROI on Jun 12, 2008

    I realise engineering abilty is unfashionable at the boardrooms of some car companies, but if some guys in a shop can shoe horn the mustang drive train into the Focus then Ford should have no issues; no torque steer, no problem. offroadinfrontier; haven't you heard of aftermaket suppliers?

  • Offroadinfrontier Offroadinfrontier on Jun 12, 2008

    No, HEATHROI, I've never heard of an aftermarket supplier that offers a professional, reliable FWD to RWD swap. Not saying they don't exist, but in order to "fix" the problem I'm focusing on (no pun intended), they would have a major job ahead of them. Besides, how many people will actually buy a new car and void the warranty by installing an estimated $10K+ modification? Not to undermine your point, though. I have heard of crazy modifications that non-certified mechanics perform in our grand country. Unfortunately, these great mods are usually for cars 10-15 years old. /sidenote I'm waiting to see an AWD/Turbo modification for my xA... parts are available in Japan, yet us here in America are practically force-fed the belief that performance can only be thrown in huge frames (MINI excluded, of course).

  • JJ JJ on Jun 13, 2008

    Oh my... For all those lamenting about the torque steer; The RS will sport an 'intelligent' front wheel differential to cancel out Torque steer. The previous Focus RS with 215 HP already had a Quaife (brand) differential which worked quite well, chances are they'll tweak it some more for this one. TopGear Ye Olde Focus RS I'm just hoping they stick to a mechanical differential and not some electronic one, but that's just me.