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224-kW Ford Focus RS edges closer

2009-01-21 07:43

Happy days are here for hot Ford aficionados! The first version of Ford's 224-kW Focus RS has rolled off its German production line.

This scorcher, the fastest production Focus yet, uses a version of the turbocharged five-cylinder 2.5-litre already familiar to Focus ST drivers. However, in the RS, it produces a heart-stopping 224 kW and 400 Nm.

A number of new interior and exterior features are employed. For one, the chassis has been tuned by Ford's Team RS, which spent many hours developing the car on Germany's formidable Nürburgring circuit. Considering the Focus channels all that power to its front wheels, it may not have seemed too enviable a task at first, although a standard limited slip differential should help matters.

Jost Capito of Team RS previously said the new Focus RS is "as much a car for driving enthusiasts as the one before it." With 224-kW on tap, we're inclined to believe him…

Other changes over the regular Focus include a wider track, deeper side rocker mouldings, aggressively flared wheel arches and bespoke front and rear bumpers. And just look at the size of that rear spoiler!

But Ford has still managed to keep a few things simple. RS owners will have a choice of three exterior colours only for their performance machines: Ultimate Green, Performance Blue (familiar to ST owners) and Frozen White.

The first top-of-the-range Focus RS came off the line at Ford's Saarlouis, Germany plant on Tuesday. The facility also produces the "standard" Focus range in three- and five-door, wagon and ST models, C-Max and Kuga.

* Ford SA says it has no current plans to introduce the Focus RS locally.

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