Next-gen Ford Focus RS hot-hatch confirmed

Ford confirms a next-generation Focus RS under development with a 350 horsepower target.

The next-generation Ford Focus RS hot-hatch has been confirmed for a late 2013 or early 2014 arrival.

Ford's global chief of small cars, Gunnar Herrmann has revealed that not only will the RS see a third iteration, that it will also deliver more than the current model's 305 horsepower. Ford will also stick with its front-wheel drive strategy.

"I think we will stay with our two-wheel-drive strategy"¦" says Herrmann, dispelling rumors of an all-wheel drive system.

"I think [more power for the next RS] is sustainable. With the limited edition RS500 we went up to 350 horsepower and some of our development units we have them up to 380hp."

"And then you really get into engine durability. But it can handle it."

One of the secrets to the RS's ability to limit torque steer is the Ford developed "˜Revoknuckle' suspension. It works in conjunction with a Quaife automatic torque biasing limited-slip differential. Hermann also confirmed that this arrangement would be carried over to the next model.

The new Focus RS is expected to be powered by a specially massaged version of the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine that will shift the 2012 Ford Focus ST (pictured). While the ST will achieve around 250 horsepower, the next hot RS version could generate as much as 350 horsepower.

1.'New Focus RS...' view