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2016 Ford Focus RS Teased, World Debut Set for February 3rd

Jan 21, 2015 - 8:32 AM - by ST2Focus
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by Mircea Panait, 21st January 2015

The wait is nearly over, hot hatchback enthusiasts! An all-new Ford Focus RS is about to debut in the wonderful World Wide Web. Look forward to all-wheel drive, a 300-plus HP 2.3-liter EcoBoost and a new Nurburgring record, eventually. Yep, you’re in for a properly wild ride from FoMoCo’s skunkworks.

Titled “Preview: All-New Ford Focus RS | Reveal 3 February 2015,” the teaser video attached below is proper proof that the online unveiling will happen on February 3rd, 2015. As you can see in the opening credits, the prototype Ford Focus RS has been chuck around with the ESP and traction control system off.

Another detail the clip’s credits shares with us is that Belgium and “the USA” were the filming locations for what you’re about to see. Our high-placed insider is adamant the all-new Focus RS will get all-wheel drive, although the company itself and Dave Pericak refused any comment on the subject. Want proof that it’s the full-on all-wheel drive hooligan?

Skip to the 36-second mark at look at that tripod mode in action, wagging its tail out and lifting the rear right wheel off the tarmac. That’s normally a front-wheel drive hatch does when pushed hard in the corners, which may lead you into believing the 2016 Ford Focus RS is not an all-wheel drive car.

But that’s not quite true. Play the video again, especially the parts at the 21-second and 25-second marks. As you can see as well, those angles of tail happiness and the easiness this prototype RS can take a hairpin at full opposite lock are tell-tale signs AWD is present for extra capability at the limits of grip.

After the 2016 Ford Focus RS will debut next month, the Ford Performance division will follow its streak of high-octane madness with eight other hideously fast vehicles. But that is that and this is now, so jump over the break, press play and enjoy the 2016 Ford Focus RS extreme testing teaser video.

... [Read More]
  105 Replies | 10,444 Views

Top Gear First drive: 2015 Ford Focus ST

Jan 21, 2015 - 6:55 AM - by ST2Focus
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Stephen Dobie, 20 January 2015

Ford’s bigger hot hatch gets new looks, new diesel power and more tech, but it still majors on value. A Good Thing, then…

What's new with the ST, then?

Ford's hottest Focus (for now...) joins the rest of the hatchback line-up in getting a jolly good spruce-up. It's no mere dusting of new headlights and a sharpened grille - though these two tried-and-tested modifications do give it an uncanny resemblance to the dinkier Fiesta ST - rather a more thorough fine-tuning of its whole character.

What are the headlines?

Big news comes in the form of a new engine. The 247bhp 2-litre petrol turbo unit continues service, albeit with some mild software tweaks, but sitting alongside it is now a 182bhp 2-litre turbodiesel option. And no, it's not called the STD. Both drive the front wheels rather frenetically through a six-speed manual gearbox.

Elsewhere, the chassis has had some attention, with stiffened suspension, while both the torque vectoring system and the electric power steering have received a retune. Detail evolutions rather than revolutions, but the end result is a car that feels much sharper than before.

It's good to drive then?

Oh yes. It was pretty good in the first place, twinning keen, agile dynamics with a firm yet compliant ride. There's more of the same here: the steering feels more focused, with satisfying levels of weight for an electronic system, endowing it with an intuitiveness that should rarely see you having to adjust how much lock you've applied.

The ride, meanwhile, feels a tad firmer than before, but purposefully so. Given how well maintained our Spanish test roads appeared to be, however, full judgement is reserved for when we try the ST on the UK's more pock-marked tarmac.

Shorn of a proper differential, the front axle can feel overwhelmed by the ST's torque out of corners, though the solution might sound counterintuitive. Turn the ESP into its slacker Sport mode and the traction control's tight grasp is loosened, allowing the tyres to dig in... [Read More]
  4 Replies | 4,690 Views

New Rendering just out: 2016 Ford Focus RS

Jan 07, 2015 - 7:04 AM - by ST2Focus
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by Ciprian Florea, Posted on 6 January 2015

The Focus RS saga began in late 2002 when the first-generation model was launched and Ford revived the RS badge after six years. Powered by a turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine, the RS MkI churned 212 horsepower, making it the closest road-going hatch to the WRC car. Discontinued in 2003, the RS returned six year later, this time with a 305-horsepower, 2.5-liter, five-cylinder under its hood. With a facelifted, third-generation Focus now in showrooms, Ford is introducing a brand-new RS in 2015, one that’s expected to take the nameplate’s credentials even further. What’s more, Ford will offer the Focus RS in the U.S. for the first time in 2015.

We say "expected" because the official details have yet to arrive, but rumors hint that the new RS will crank out around 330 ponies from a 2.3-liter EcoBoost sourced from the 2015 Mustang. Exciting doesn’t even begin to cover it, but there’s more good news coming from the grapevine, including the fact that all that oomph might be traveling to all four wheels thanks to an AWD system. Read on for all the juicy details surrounding the 2016 Focus RS.

Updated 01/05/2014: Based on the recent spy shots, we created a rendering for the new Focus RS, which is rumored to be unveiled next week at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show.

2016 Ford Focus RS | car review @ Top Speed

The second rendering info:

A new rendering is showing us how the upcoming 2016 Ford Focus RS might look like once it will become available.

The new generation of the Ford Focus RS range topping hot hatch is just around the corner and with the car company getting ready to officially pull the... [Read More]
  109 Replies | 15,379 Views

The December 2014 Focus ST of the Month Contest Winner is Adamnclump!

Dec 31, 2014 - 12:17 PM - by wicked

The December 2014 (Holiday Edition) Focus ST of the Month Contest winner is none other than Adamnclump with this great shot! Congratulations!

Thanks to everyone who participated and submitted an photo and to all those who voted! We'll do this again in a couple of weeks so stay tuned!

Happy New Year!
  6 Replies | 1,149 Views

Ford files trademark for 'EcoBeast' moniker (What's Ford got planned?)

Dec 30, 2014 - 5:55 AM - by ST2Focus
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By Brandon Turkus, 29 December 2014

Ford has done some performance stuff with its EcoBoost line of vehicles, most notably with its Focus and Fiesta ST, the new, turbocharged Mustang and the luke-warm Taurus SHO and F-150 Tremor, but it's kind of avoided going wholly bonkers. That could be set to change quite soon, judging by a trademark filing with Uncle Sam.

Ford has registered the name EcoBeast with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, listing it as "automobiles and automobile engines," according to the team at Motorlix, which discovered the filing.

As always, it bears mentioning that companies are constantly filing trademarks, even if a good or service never emerges with said name. We agree with Motorlix, though – it seems highly unlikely Ford is going to just let this name languish. What vehicle or engine will wear this new badge is the real question. We're leaning towards something F-150 related, based on our last round of spy photos of the new SVT Raptor, although it's impossible to say for certain what the Blue Oval has planned.

Here's hoping we find out in just a few weeks when Ford brings basically all of its performance merchandise to the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Until then, let us know what you think Ford is planning with the EcoBeast.

Ford files trademark for 'EcoBeast' moniker
  26 Replies | 3,575 Views

Ford Racing to Offer EcoBoost Chip Tuning Without Voiding the Warranty of the Vehicle

Dec 23, 2014 - 2:28 PM - by ST2Focus
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by Mircea Panait, 23rd December 2014

Factory tuning programs are not that rare in this day and age, especially when you’re referring to premium or luxury automakers. Prime examples come in the form of BMW M Performance Parts, Mercedes-Benz AMG Sport models and so on and so forth. But this treatment still has a long way to come until volume automobile manufacturers will also embrace it.

Fortunately for fans of nameplates dominated by a Blue Oval logo up front, Ford will be offering chip tuning for its EcoBoost engines, but only for high-performance nameplates, ranging from the 1.6-liter Fiesta ST pocket rocket all the way to the 2015 Mustang EcoBoost and the upcoming 2016 Ford Focus RS. Ford Racing is developing the tuning pack.

An official statement from Ford Racing reads that the performance-oriented division is currently in the early stages of developing a few custom engine calibrations for the 2.3-liter EcoBoost of the ‘Stang, with a product expected by the end of 2015. Ford is adamant that the upcoming device will cost from a modest $595 and will be designed to be easily plugged into the car’s diagnostic link connector port.

Ford Focus ST owners, for example, can expect up to a 90 lb-ft (122 Nm) increase in torque, all while maintaining the factory limited warranty. That makes us wonder if the 2.3-liter EcoBoost can be hiked by at least 100 lb-ft (135 Nm). It would be nice if it were to be possible considering the gizmo only modifies parameters like the throttle response, idle speed, wastegate control, fuel curves and spark timing.

Back in the golden years of car ownership, a ‘Stang driver could replace the camshaft or fit a set of new, bigger carburetors in order to improve horsepower figures, even though he would sacrifice things like a smooth idle. With engine performance now accomplished with hand-held programmers, it’s funny when you think about how geeky both carmakers and performance vehicle owners have become.

Nevertheless, this is 2014 and it’s redundant to get teary over the past. Move on with it, Ford!... [Read More]
  84 Replies | 14,061 Views

Why Ford Is Making a Big Move Into High Performance?

Dec 23, 2014 - 10:03 AM - by ST2Focus
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By John Rosevear, December 21, 2014

Ford Motor Company said last week that it is making a major push into high performance, with "more than 12 vehicles" under development by a new global team dedicated to racing and high-performance cars.

The new team, called Ford Performance, unifies several regional units devoted to building and racing fast Ford products. It'll be led by Dave Pericak, a Ford executive who knows all about performance: He most recently led development of the all-new 2015 Mustang.

That's good news for fast-car (and fast-truck) fans. But high-performance vehicles aren't typically the ones posting great fuel-economy numbers. Given Ford's recent emphasis on making more fuel-efficient products like the new-for-2015 F-150 pickup, why is Ford now betting big on speed?

Fast cars are fun, but they also make good business sense

Ford executives say that there are several good reasons to boost the company's go-fast efforts -- and some are even supportive of Ford's long-term movement toward greener vehicles.

Reason 1: Sales of performance vehicles are on the rise. Ford says sales of performance vehicles in the U.S. have risen 70% since 2009, and they're up 14% in Europe. In addition, in China, where Ford offers Focus STs imported from the U.S., the high-performance compact has been an important brand-builder for the Blue Oval.

Reason 2: Performance vehicles attract new buyers -- and younger buyers -- to the brand. In the U.S., 65% of those who buy the high-performance ST versions of the Fiesta and Focus are newcomers to the Ford brand, the company says. Many of those buyers become Ford loyalists -- Ford says that more than half of the people who buy one of its performance vehicles go on to buy another Ford. The ST models in particular also draw younger buyers -- Ford says that "millennials" (people born between 1980 and 2000, roughly) buy ST models at twice the rate they buy other Ford products.

Reason 3: Performance cars and racing provide great training and motivation... [Read More]
  32 Replies | 5,599 Views

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