Ford has released pictures of its high-performance Focus RS ahead of its official British Motor Show debut later this month.
The new Focus RS will go on sale in early 2009 and will be the second Focus model to carry the prestigious RS badge.
It comes with a turbocharged version of the Duratec 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine and Ford’s early performance testing indicates a 0-62mph time of under six seconds.
Ford says it’s also equipped with an innovative front suspension system known as a ‘RevoKnuckle’, which is designed to reduce unwanted steering disturbance and torque steer.
Torque steer occurs during hard acceleration, cornering or driving on uneven surfaces, when torque on the driven wheels exceeds grips levels.
The vehicle is finished in a special bright green paint which Ford says is a modern interpretation of the 1970s Le Mans Green of the Escort RS1600 era.
A black RS rear spoiler also sits at the Focus RS’ roofline, echoing both RS models of the past and the World Rally-winning Focus WRC that has been its inspiration.
The interior will feature sculpted Recaro high-performance sports seats, a three-spoke steering wheel and aluminium foot pedals.
Stefan Lamm, chief exterior designer at Ford Europe said: ‘We believe it’s vitally important that a Focus RS looks like both a Focus and an RS – it needs to be individual, distinctive and overt in its performance styling, but it also needs to show a clear progression from and relationship to the Focus ST.’
Which? Car editor Richard Headland said: ‘The RS version of the original Ford Focus developed quite a cult following, so we look forward to seeing its successor at the motor show later this month.’