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New Ford Focus RS Goes After VW Golf R, Subaru WRX STI With AWD and 345HP

New 2016 Ford Focus RS, blue

Ford’s hot hatch goes all-wheel-drive and amps up the performance.

The all-new, much-discussed Ford Focus RS is finally ready for action, putting the pedal to the metal as it chases down the Volkswagen Golf R and Subaru WRX STI. With an impressive AWD system and 345 horsepower to work with, it is the most capable member of the Focus lineup and one of the fastest hatchbacks you can buy.

Motivating the Focus RS is a variation of the four-cylinder, 2.3-liter turbocharged EcoBoost engine that powers the latest Ford Mustang, one that has been updated to produce 324 lb-ft. (440 Nm) of torque between 2,000 to 4,500 rpm in addition to the aforementioned 345-hp (350 PS). An overboost function can increase that torque figure to 347 lb-ft. (470 Nm) for up to 15 seconds.

Just as remarkable as the powerful turbo four is a new, high-performance all-wheel-drive system that, working together with a six-speed manual transmission and a launch control system, channels power efficiently to the ground, allowing the hot hatch to sprint from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in just 4.7 seconds on route to a top speed of 165 mph (266 km/h).

The AWD system enables the driver to automatically control how much power is sent to each wheel at any given moment and apply individual brakes to optimize handling. This is done though a drive mode selector that not only configures engine responses and braking but also the damper controls, electronic stability control, steering, and exhaust sound accordingly.

An automatic transmission is currently not offered, meaning you’ll have to endure the fun of doing all the shifting yourself…

Visually, the new Focus RS makes a statement with new front bumper featuring a bigger radiator grille, a large air dam, side skirts, and a tastefully-massive roof-mounted spoiler that improves downforce.

It also features a redesigned rear bumper with an air diffuser, slick dual exhaust tips and multi-spoke 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped around in Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. Buyers will have the choice of four body colors: Nitrous Blue, Stealth Gray, Absolute Black and Frozen White.

A driver-focused instrument cluster with extra gauges mounted on top of the dashboard, a flat-bottom, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and recaro racing seats are the highlight a sporty interior that can be equipped with Ford’s latest touch screen-based SYNC infotainment system.

Developed to battle the likes of the Golf R and especially the WRX STI, the new, third-generation Ford Focus RS is the fastest RS model ever. It is currently on sale in North America, Europe and select markets around the world.

Do you want one?

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