It’s not uncommon for the U.S. – and, even more often, Canada – to get shafted when an automaker comes out with a new hot hatch or other performance vehicle. “God, why can’t we have that here?” we used to say.
Ford’s new global performance arm is making those whiny cries a thing of the past by delivering an awesome product portfolio in just about every market selling Fords today. The new Focus RS, for example—we’re finally getting it for the first time!
You can expect the 2016 Focus RS to come in pretty much the same spec on both sides of the Canadian border, explained Omar Odeh, product marketing manager for the new performance hatchback, during our walkaround of the car at the New York auto show in April.
But some of the options they get Stateside might be limited up north—limited to the good stuff, I should add, because who wants an option like non-heated seats in Canada, right? We’re getting the same colour options anyway, which’ll be black, white, a stealthy gray or the Focus RS-exclusive quad-coat Nitrous Blue you see here.
Pretty much every performance option box comes ticked standard in the RS, which means like it or not – but, seriously, you will like it – you’re getting 13.8-inch rotors stopped by Brembo brakes, a new-for-Ford-Performance AWD platform with torque vectoring, and Recaro racing seats for the front passengers.
Power comes from a 315-horsepower(!) EcoBoost mill with an intercooler fed fresh air through all those mesh grille openings up front. (There’re brake ducts up there, too, for cooling those Brembos, by the way.)
Different sport- and track-focused modes adjust engine output and handling characteristics depending on where you’re taking the Focus RS, and also actuate a flap in the lefthand exhaust to make it sound just that much meaner when you’re ripping up a course and noise isn’t an issue.
What Odeh couldn’t tell us was whether the Focus RS would be taking premium fuel – which it likely will – and whether in Canada we’d get just the special-built-for-Focus-RS Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires or those as well as the lower-trim regular Pilot Super Sports.
He did mention the German-built Focus should hit Canadian showrooms some time in spring 2016, but with luck we’ll have a review of the car for you before then.