If you’re as into Ford’s hot hatches as we are, this is excellent news: The production line in Saarlouis, Germany, has fired up and is producing Focus RS hatches as of today.
It’s been so long since the car debuted, at the 2015 New York Auto Show, that you may want a quick refresher. The Focus has had three generations in Europe, and each of them have begat an RS variant. Traditionally, the RS was a front-driver, initially with a turbocharged inline-four, and in the second-generation model a Volvo-derived turbo inline-five with a fancy RevoKnuckle front suspension design to manage torque steer.
The third-generation Focus RS will be the first of the breed to hit our shores, and it’ll also be the first with all-wheel drive. The new torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system comes with a Drift Mode, taking advantage of the system’s ability to channel as much as 70 percent of available power to the rear, and from there up to 100 percent of that to one side. Combined with a stability control system that allows for true hooligan antics, Drift Mode should be a riot. Don’t forget that the Focus RS will beat a Subaru WRX STI’s 5.1-second 0-60 mph time handily if Ford’s quoted 4.7-second 0-62 time is to be believed.
Since the production line has started, there’s a good chance Ford will be able to deliver the 350-hp hatch to Americans this spring, as promised. The $36,605 base price that Ford has confirmed (including destination) still represents the entry point.