A Ford spokesperson commented by saying: “As a result of pan-European emissions standards, increased CO2 taxation and the high cost of developing an RS with some form of electrification for a relatively low volume of vehicles, we are not planning another RS version of the Focus. We remain committed to Ford Performance vehicles in Europe as part of our DNA, with cars like the multi-award-winning Focus ST and Fiesta ST, as well as our Mustang and Ranger Raptor models.”
Apparently, not even electrification could save the RS from death according to a separate report by Autocar. In order to make it European emissions compliant, it would have to be a full hybrid. Ford even toyed with the idea of using the Kuga’s 2.5-litre hybrid powertrain, but was found to not be a viable solution, especially when the RS’ competition have broken past the 400-horsepower mark or 298kW.
Furthermore, packaging the electrified powertrain to the all-wheel drive RS chassis was an issue. Couple that to the enormous cost associated with getting the fourth-generation RS off the ground, and we can understand why the Blue Oval pulled the plug on the project. The business case just doesn’t stack up for the Focus RS in this day and age, especially when you consider the dwindling demand in key markets such as China.
Like most automotive journalists with a soft spot in their heart for a hot hatch, this is indeed saddening news. That said, if you want a fast Ford Focus going forward, the ST seems to be the only answer. But, the axing of the RS from the range and Ford’s global offensive to deliver 40 new electrified cars by 2022, makes you wonder if the Focus ST and the Fiesta ST are on the chopping block as well. Only time will tell we reckon. Watch this space.
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