Ford lifts the curtain on the new Focus RS

Ford has officially unveiled the first images of the all-new Focus RS, the fire-snorting, 320bhp, four-wheel drive monster we’ve all been waiting for.

Unveiled earlier this afternoon, the new RS is equipped with the same 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine as the new Mustang, and also debuts Ford’s new Performance All-Wheel-Drive system.

Paired with the 320bhp turbocharged engine, the new all-wheel drive system will deliver class-leading cornering speed and performance, as befits the rallying heritage of the RS badge.

Both dramatic and functional, the design of the Focus RS features a more powerful and muscular take on the latest generation of Ford’s hugely successful Focus hatchback.

Focused on aerodynamic downforce, the exterior is bedecked in performance features like a bold upper grille and a deep front splitter, which incorporate large engine cooling vents.

Flared wheel arches enhance the wide stance of the Focus RS, while lower wings, large brake cooling ducts on the front, plus a large diffuser and distinctive rear spoiler complete its aggressive look.

Optional racing tyres

The new RS rides on 19-inch lightweight forged alloy wheels in a low-gloss black finish, plus a choice of either everyday tyres or, for the first time on an RS, optional racing tyres.

On the inside, the cabin features the same high-spec performance-oriented design as the exterior, with partial leather Recaro sports seats as standard, or optional RS Recaro racing bucket seats.

A redesigned control layout based on the Focus, albeit with a simpler design, features alongside Ford’s voice-activated SYNC 2 infotainment system and an eight-inch colour touchscreen.

Find a racetrack

Drivers can literally ask the system to “find a racetrack” in order to locate the nearest track, and can also specify it with a rear view camera, parking sensors and a premium 10-speaker sound system.

Performance-themed interior touches are rounded off by a new flat-bottomed racing steering wheel with leather trim, alloy foot pedals and gauges for turbo pressure, oil level and oil temperature.

320bhp+

The 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine has been projected to create in excess of 320bhp, making it a tweaked version of the same engine in the new Mustang, complete with a new twin-scroll turbocharger.

Linked with a six-speed manual transmission and start-stop technology as standard, Ford claims that the engine will also yield significant improvements in fuel economy and emissions reductions.

The all-wheel drive powertrain also features a new dynamic torque vectoring system to help deliver optimum torque and grip where it’s needed most via electronically-controlled clutch packs.

Automatically monitoring torque distribution to each wheel, the car’s on-board computer can then distribute exactly the right amount of boosts or reductions in torque for exceptional grip.

The first-ever RS model to go on sale globally, the new Focus RS will enter production in Germany later this year before going on sale early in 2016.