Ford is sending the Focus RS off with a red, LSD-equipped bang

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Ford is discontinuing the current generation Focus RS after the 2018 model year, and so it’s making a special edition to cap off the car’s run. The car doesn’t get any special moniker, but it is loaded with some nifty goodies and visual changes. Immediately apparent is the new color, Race Red. It’s one of two available colors, the other being Nitrous Blue. Both colors are accented by a black roof, mirrors, and rear wing, the latter of which has blue RS logos on each side.

The limited-edition RS also gets a significant mechanical upgrade. Unlike normal Focus RS models, this one gets a Quaife mechanical limited-slip differential for the front drive wheels. Ford says this should improve traction under acceleration and aid corner exit speed. Along with limited-slip differential, the car comes standard with forged 19-inch wheels. Naturally, they’re painted black to match the mirrors, roof, and wing.

[Source: Autoblog]

 

 

Portland Ford Focus dealer has the 2017 Focus Here Now

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The 2017 Ford Focus, for sale in Portland at Mackenzie Ford in Hillsboro, remains one of the world’s most popular nameplates, with an excellent balance of handsome styling, high-tech features and a fun driving character. If you would like further information, please call us at (844) 424-8102.

Newly available is an SEL package, which includes 17-inch machined-aluminum wheels with black-painted pockets, fog lamps, black headlight bezels and power moonroof. Focus is available in either sedan or hatchback, with engine choice offerings that include a 2.0-liter Ti-VCT I-4 or 1.0-liter EcoBoost®, which can be optioned with six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission with available SelectShift® functionality.

The 2017 Ford Focus has available SYNC® 3 enhanced voice recognition and entertainment system with AppLink and 911 Assist®, an 8-inch center LCD touch screen with available navigation, and swiping and pinch-to-zoom capabilities. Two standard smart-charging USB ports are great for families on the go with energy-hungry devices.

Focus also offers available technology like Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert, a lane-keeping system, heated steering wheel and LED signature lighting. Available active park assist uses the car’s 12 ultrasonic sensors to scan for suitable parking spaces and assist in backing into a spot while driver controls the gear shifter, brake and accelerator pedals.

A new color available for 2017 is White Gold.

Free Ford Focus RS driving school will stop you from becoming a #DriftModeFail

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Ford, perhaps recognizing that a few Focus RS owners have more money than talent, will start offering a free version of its ST Octane Academy for its most powerful hatchback. Think of the RS Adrenaline Academy as a practical guide to not becoming a YouTube laughingstock.

Like the ST Octane Academy, Ford hosts the RS-specific course at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah. The one-day course leans heavily towards practical exercises. According to Ford, the day starts with about 30 minutes of classroom time, after which students set out on the track for exercises including, Motor Trend reports, using each of the RS’ four driving modes.

Like a number of driving schools, the Adrenaline Academy operates a fleet of high-performance Foci, each outfitted with appropriate safety equipment. But while the cars and education are free, owners are stuck shouldering some expense – each student is responsible for their own transportation and lodging.

Ford hasn’t announced a schedule for the Adrenaline Academy yet, but since it’s free with every 2016 and 2017 Focus RS, you should go register for updates at the school’s website.

[Source: Autoblog]

Ford Focus RS500 plans at risk over concerns for Mustang GT, Shelby GT350

Bad news for fans of insane hatchbacks. Ford is concerned its rumored Focus RS500 could harm Mustang sales in the United States, and the lack of a viable US plan could kill the 390-horsepower Focus before it even hits dealerships. The reasons are much more dire than simple production constraints.

Citing “well-placed sources” at the Blue Oval, Autocar reports that concern over the RS500 “treading on other cars’ toes” is hurting the Focus’ chances. Those cars, of course, are the Mustang GT and Shelby GT350. It’s a valid worry.

Right now, the 435-hp Mustang GT starts at $32,920, the 350-hp Focus RS rings up at $35,900, and the 526-hp Shelby sits at $54,570. That kind of price/performance diversity is good. But imagine an RS500 comes to market with 390 hp and a starting price in the $40,000 to $45,000 range? If you were studying a well-equipped Mustang GT Premium, jumping up to the hotter (and rarer) RS500 could be a smart investment. And for GT350 consumers, the RS500 could provide similar track-day thrills at a $10,000 to $15,000 discount – that’s a lot of money owners could otherwise spend on tires and track time.

Without US sales, Autocar reports, the internal numbers aren’t looking good for the RS500. And the case looks worse after considering the standard RS’ difficult birth. According to AC, it took serious efforts by Ford product chief Raj Nair to convince the Blue Oval’s notorious bean counters to see the light. If the accountants and US dealers are worried the RS500 could hurt Ford’s performance mix, even Nair’s persuasion might not be enough.

A compromise could come in the form of an “RS500-lite,” specifically for the European market. But because the lack of US sales would demand a smaller budget, an AC source said Ford Europe worries the lack of unique technical content in such a model “might dilute the RS brand.”

In other words, it sounds like a vehicle we’re eager to see happen is stuck between a rock and a hard place – too hardcore to play nice in US showrooms, and not hot enough to properly represent the RS brand in its home market.

[Source: Autoblog]

Ford spices up its hot hatchbacks for SEMA

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Ford hopes to bring 50 customized cars to SEMA, and the latest additions to the lineup include one Ford Fiesta and five Focus hatchbacks. Some look like rally machines for the road while others just sport a fancy paint job.

The lone Fiesta ST is built by Tucci Hot Rods with a custom wide-body kit. It has been lowered, and retains the 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine but now features an upgraded turbo, custom exhaust system, as well as a Cobb Accessport V3 ECU upgrade. The clutch has also been updated with a Spec Stage 4 kit.

The customized Focus models include: a 2016 Focus ST by Blood & Grease with a matte black paint job, a 2016 Focus ST by Cinemotive Media with fender flares and performance upgrades from Mountune, a 2016 Focus RS with an updated twin-scroll turbo kit and a gray and orange paint job by Full-Race Motorsports, as well as a 2016 Focus RS by H&P Special Springs/Stanceworks with rally-inspired graphics.

The most promising hatchback, to us, is the Focus RS by Roush Performance. The more aggressive body kit gives the hatchback a more menacing look, while Roush’s shortblock assembly, performance calibration, and improved cooling system bumps power up to 500 horsepower.

Ford already revealed its modified Mustangs, Fusions, and F-150s for SEMA earlier this month, which leaves its crossovers and SUVs as the last vehicles to get the SEMA treatment.

[Source: Autoblog]

Ford Focus RS500 teases us with 400 hp

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See that car up top? That’s the upcoming Focus RS500, a monstrous version of Ford’s already insane hot hatchback. Despite a very real prototype circling the equally real Nürburgring, there’s a chance Ford won’t put the car on sale.

That’s according to Autocar, which has a source claiming the RS500 is “not genuinely green-lighted.” While the car shown above seems to contradict that statement, the likely explanation is that Ford is doing double-duty – engineers and product planners are developing a car – while the bean counters and factory bosses figure out if there’s a strong enough financial case to build it. They would also need to squeeze another 500 units onto the production lines in Cologne, Germany. Autocar reports those “practicalities” are the primary roadblock to the RS500’s production, even though a “desire exists to have a star in the RS and ST range.”

Meanwhile, AC suggests Ford will give the new RS500 a similar performance bump to the last one. The previous Focus RS500 had 345 horsepower, five less than today’s base RS but 15-percent more than the second-gen RS. If Ford applies the same 15-percent bump to the new car, output would hit 396 horsepower. Somehow, with the 400-hp barrier so close – and with the constant rumors about the Mercedes-AMG A45 hitting that magical figure – we suspect Ford will find a way to squeeze an extra four ponies out of the 2.3-liter turbo.

Here in America, Ford gave the expected response to our inquiries about the RS500 – “We don’t speculate on future products,” spokesman Mike Levine told Autoblog.

If the RS500 arrives, it’d likely be next spring. That gives Ford time for development, but more importantly, it lines up with the Focus’ “run-out phase” for that summer, Autocar reports, and would help keep interest in the aging hatchback ahead of its next-generation. With a spring on-sale date, the RS500 is a virtual lock for a debut in Detroit or Geneva. If Ford gives the green light, that is.

[Source: Autoblog]

Forza giving Ford Focus RS to ESL champion

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Dust off your controllers and Xbox One, because Forza is giving away a 2017 Ford Focus RS. The player that comes in first at ESL’s Forza Racing Championship tournament in September will drive away in the hatchback. The largest Forza championship to date is split into two different tournaments – the Open and Elite series – and starts on August 8 with weekly competitions. While registration is open for both series, only players competing in the Elite series have a shot at winning the car.

Registration is open to everyone, but players have to place in the top 128 during one of the three qualifying weeks. Then, players have to place in the top 16 in that week’s series cup and lastly need to place in the top four in that week’s showdown, as well. The finals event will take place on September 4.

While the Focus RS is the best and most expensive prize up for grabs, players competing in the Elite series also have the opportunity to win other prices including in-game cars and liveries, Xbox One S consoles, and Xbox Elite controllers. Players competing in the Open series will have a similar weekly competition with the top 50 percent winning in-game content, which includes DLC packs.

Racing from the Elite series will be broadcasted on Twitch with the weekly finals and grand finals being broadcasted live from ESL’s studios in Cologne, Germany. The Forza Racing Championship will be the first esports tournament to give a real car away as a prize.

[Source: Autoblog]