The legend has returned. The MKIII Ford Focus RS has been officially revealed today in a glamourous unveiling that was streamed live across the globe.
Power will be 'in excess of 320PS' from the 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine already seen in the new Mustang, with four wheel drive making a return to a Ford hot hatch for the first time since the 1992 Escort RS Cosworth.
It will send its power to all four wheels through a six speed manual gearbox, bucking the current trend of other manufacturers who insist on using twin-clutch automatic gearboxes that can dilute the experience of performance cars. The sophisticated torque-vectoring AWD system will be able to 70% of torque to the rear wheels and up to 100% of that to each wheel at any one time, for either ultimate cornering speed or a large power slide - whichever you prefer. With the engine revving to 6,800 RPM, 0-62 mph should be dealt with in around 5 seconds, but no official times have been revealed yet. Ford Performance have tuned the exhaust to burble, pop and crackle as you power down the road.
The styling is, as you'd expect from a Ford hot hatch, aggressive to say the least. A deep front spoiler is accentuated by a prominent black grille and number plate plinth and LED daytime running lights on either side. There are no bonnet vents (unfortunately).
Down the sides you'll find sporty side skirts as well as large 19" alloy wheels with Brembo brakes, and at the rear there's a not-insignificant diffuser housing large twin exhaust pipes. A large rear spoiler completes the exterior styling changes, and inside the car there's two racey-looking RECARO bucket seats.
Ford Europe boss Jim Farley said: "The new Focus RS represents Ford at its passionate best - delivering innovation, unmatched driving dynamics and stunning performance that was previously the sole province of high-priced performance luxury marques and exotics"
"We are acutely aware of the benchmarks we have set ourselves with RS performance models through the years, and rest assured that this new car raises the game to a new level."
Prices and on-sale dates are yet to be released but we do know that there'll be four colour choices: Stealth Grey, Absolute Black, Frozen white and four-coat metallic Nitrous Blue which is exclusive to the RS. Watch this space for more details!
Just for fun, here's a video of Ken Block drifting the new Focus RS at the official launch!
Ken Block Drifts new Ford Focus RS