The future of the Ford Focus RS has taken an unexpected twist after an initial claim that the hyper hatch’s production won’t be extended into the current fourth generation.
Last week, French online publication Caradisiac reported that the RS will be discontinued in lieu of new European emissions regulations planned for next year, and in response to the Blue Oval embarking on an extensive cost cutting drive across the Old Continent involving factory closures, discontinuing of underperforming models and letting go of factory employees.
In a rebuttal of the claims however, Ford Australia has indicated that no final decision on the RS has been made, adding that it remains possible to include it within the Focus range despite the average fleet emissions requirement of 95 g/km.
“It’s far too early to speculate on any future plans for RS. The ‘C2’ platform that underpins the new-generation Focus features an up-to-the-minute, highly-advanced technology-laden architecture. [The platform] has enabled our Focus line-up a range of efficient powertrains,” an unnamed Blue Oval spokesperson confirmed to caradvice.com.au.
Until now, widespread reports dating back nearly two years have alleged that the RS will switch to a hybrid setup by swapping the 2.3 EcoBoost engine that now powers the ST, for the smaller 2.0-litre blown four-pot of the previous generation combined with an electric motor for a total system output of 298 kW.
Subsequently, Britain’s Autocar, in February, alleged that a turbocharged version of the new the Kuga’s 2.5-litre engine would be used in combination with a 74 kW electric motor to obtain to mentioned power output. While the four-wheel-drive system was expected to be retained, a CVT was slated to replace the six-speed manual as the sole transmission option.