Ford has poured cold water on any suggestion it’s developing a faster Focus ‘RS500’.
Ford Australia’s Product Communications Manager Damion Smy told MOTOR: “There are no plans for a more powerful Focus RS.” However, MOTOR has learned that just such a car was extremely close to release.
The hugely positive reaction from both the media and buying public is believed to have led Ford to investigate the possibility of a more focused (pardon the pun) model to fight Europe’s premium hot hatches.
While unlikely to have worn RS500 nomenclature, the super Focus RS would have given the likes of the A45 AMG and Audi RS3 a hurry-up with between 270-280kW (an overboost function was rumoured) and a local price tag of approximately $60,000.
It was expected to have worn a bespoke colour with production starting this month (July 2017) and power figures and price tags suggest the program was at a relatively complete stage, however the reasons for its cancellation are unclear.
Ford produced a limited-edition RS500 late in the lifecycle of the second-generation Focus RS. It lifted outputs from the 2.5-litre turbo five from 224kW/440Nm to 257kW/460Nm and all 500 cars were individually numbered and wore matte black paintwork.
Production of the Focus RS has only about 12 months to run and Ford has released the Option Pack, which includes cosmetic upgrades and a Quaife limited-slip differential for the front axle, to keep interest high, though Smy says Ford Australia is having no trouble selling every car it can get.
The Focus RS Option Pack is not yet confirmed for local release with Smy only saying it is currently under consideration.