Indeed, the 345hp extracted from its turbocharged 2.3-litre 4-cylinder engine is approaching technical and thermal limits. Any more could risk it being far less reliable that what’s necessary in a production car. Rather, this superheated RS’s gains could come via weight savings and refinements to the chassis and transmission.
Material solutions to the car’s body such as polycarbonate glazing, carbon fibre reinforced plastic panels, forged-aluminium suspension components, carbon ceramic brakes, reduced noise insulation and a stripped-out interior could all amount to a 100kg weight shedding.
Mechanically, an electronically controlled limited-slip front differential could be added and tuned to work with the GKN-supplied rear drive unit, along with a dual-clutch transmission. Ford’s Getrag-supplied Powershift transmission would be an obvious fit, but will need to be altered to handle the RS’s 475Nm of torque.
Barring the added weight of the transmission being too much of a burden, this hotter Focus RS has the potential to be fastest-accelerating hatchback to date, with a 0-100km/h sprint time of under 4.0 seconds within the realm of possibility.
Reportedly, Ford has Mercedes-Benz’s A45 AMG (4.2 seconds) and Audi RS3’s sprint time (4.3 seconds) squarely in its crosshairs. And should there be the potential for the new RS to set the new hatchback acceleration benchmark, Ford could be very eager to seize it.