It’s really coming. Ford’s very first 2016 Focus RS production car has rolled off the line, and it’s making our palms itch to get out to the track. Offering hot-hatch fans a slightly tamer, considerably more affordable version of the driving experience Ford is promising from the GT, it’ll be the fastest accelerating car from the blue badge company to wear the RS label.
That’s courtesy of a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, which is good for a healthy 350 HP and a 0-62 mph run in 4.7 seconds. That’s only 0.2s slower than the manual BMW M2 just announced in Detroit, but for a whole $17k less.
Sticker price for the Focus RS actually starts at $35,730 and with a decent amount of kit as standard. There’s an RS2 package on offer if you’re partial to Recaro leather sports seats, and want the convenience of heating for the mirrors, front seats, and steering wheel.
Production is in Saarlouis, Germany, where Ford Performance engineers from Europe and the US collaborated on coaxing the most driving fun out of the new AWD and dynamic torque vectoring systems.
Four different drive modes will be offered, including – as you can see in the video below, with former Top Gear driver Stig behind the wheel – a suitably smokey drift setting.
Unfortunately there’s still a little while to wait before we can actually get our hands on the wheel. The Focus RS isn’t expected to arrive in the US until this fall.