New Ford Focus RS Not Happening At All
17 April 2020 - motor1
Blame it on Europe's stricter emissions regulations and Ford's cost-cutting agenda.
A lot has been written about the prospects of a new Ford Focus RS, but it all ends today apparently. The gist of a new report from French magazine Caradisiac is that the Blue Oval won't be coming out with a fourth generation of its reputable hot hatchback at all. We already knew a new version of Ford's Golf R rival would only exist with an electrified powertrain to meet Europe's stricter regulations, but that's easier said than done.
Citing sources within Ford, Caradisiac is reporting the automaker has ruled out a Focus RS Mk4 due to the European Union's fleet-wide average emissions target of 95 grams of CO2 / km set to kick in next year. That works out to a fuel consumption of 4.1 liters / 100 km (57.3 mpg) of gasoline and 3.6 liters / 100 km (65.3 mpg) of diesel, according to the European Commission website. Side note, it's because of these increasingly stringent laws the Ka+ minicar has been axed.
Even though there had been rumors about a Focus RS with an electric rear axle and more than 400 horsepower, it seems Ford has ultimately decided against it. A couple of months ago, Autocar reported about how only a greener engine could save the RS, but now we're hearing it won't happen. The report goes on to mention it would be too expensive to engineer such a powertrain as it would contrast the company's cost-cutting plan in Europe.
In June 2019, Ford of Europe announced a revamped business plan that involved lowering the number of manufacturing facilities from 24 to 18 by the end of 2020 to reduce the workforce by approximately 20 percent on the Old Continent. It also involved getting rid of some of the slow-selling cars, including the C-Max and Grand C-Max minivans along with the aforementioned Ka+. A new Focus RS simply doesn't fit in this cost-cutting scheme since it wouldn't be a high-volume product.
Silver lining? The Focus ST can be had in Europe with a choice between hatchback and wagon body styles, manual and automatic transmissions, and either a gasoline or diesel engine. It's better than not having a fast Focus at all, which has unfortunately been the case for the U.S. market for quite some time.