“For the customers who buy it, Focus RS has to perform a dual role – to be a high performance circuit machine when required, yet be just as adept in everyday driving.” John Wheeler, Chief Programme Engineer, Focus RS
Pretoria, 25 August 2010 – Focus RS is not just a new high-performance car, it also marks the pinnacle of the Focus road car range. While it is guaranteed to thrill and excite customers with its power and performance, it is just as impressive in everyday use.
All the work carried out in fine-tuning the design and specification of the Focus RS in terms of aerodynamics, powertrain details and chassis set-up not only assisted the car’s precise dynamic response and performance, but also the everyday consideration of its fuel economy and emissions.
For a 224kW high-performance car, Focus RS is remarkably efficient, with European Driving Cycle combined fuel economy of 9.4 litres per 100km and an average CO2 rating of 225 grams per kilometre.
Fuel economy: figures quoted are based on the European Fuel Economy Directive EU 80/1268/EEC.
Combined with a larger, 62 litre fuel tank (up from 55 litres in other Focus models), this gives Focus RS a healthy driving range.
Sound, Not Noise
Unwanted noise and vibrations have been minimised, using new, stronger engine mounts to absorb engine vibrations and a new roll restrictor bracket, which improves dynamic engine control by 20%.
Distinctive, sporting sound qualities have been tuned in to the high throttle opening and higher engine rpm ranges, to reward the enthusiastic driver. The sound symposer delivers the powerful intake sound into the cabin, while the exhaust system features a rough and sonorous sound unique to RS.
“In a performance car, the right sound is important. A sound package that is harmonious with the vehicle’s performance and provides a positive driving experience is as important as the suppressing of unwanted noise,” said Wheeler.
Safety and Structure
Under its stylish, performance exterior, Focus RS continues Focus’ excellence in active and passive safety.
The Focus RS safety package includes standard ABS, EBD, ESP and a rigid passenger safety cell. Among the interior safety systems are driver and passenger front airbags, side curtain airbags and pyrotechnic belt pre-tensioners protecting front occupants.
In November 2004, Focus was the first and only vehicle to be awarded a 100% occupant safety rating by EuroNCAP, for both offset frontal and side impact. It also achieved a 100% test score for child dynamic injury protection for 1½ and 3-year-old child crash test dummies.
Retaining Focus Reliability
All through Focus RS’ development, durability has been as important as any other factor and much attention to detail has ensured it will continue Focus’ excellent reputation for reliability, despite all its high-performance modifications.
This was especially true for the bespoke suspension design. For all its complexity, creating the function and set-up of Ford RevoKnuckle was just part of the challenge for engineers in Ford Team RS, Vehicle Dynamics and Research & Advanced Engineering. Bringing such an innovative development into volume production and meeting Ford’s exacting durability standards was equally important.
Explains Wheeler: “Targets for durability are higher for Focus RS than mainstream vehicles, because of its likely use as a track car. It will be driven harder and expected to perform to higher levels than other Focus models.”
One of the early decisions in meeting durability targets was to move from an aluminium steering knuckle to a forged part, with the static knuckle in cast iron. This makes for a much stronger, durable component, designed for serious track use, yet adds only three kilogrammes to the overall weight of the car.
RevoKnuckle has also been developed with due consideration for easy service and maintenance.
Powertrain modifications were also made with attention to durability. For example, cylinder bores on the engine have been metal sprayed on the inside, to protect against cylinder cracking under the higher engine pressures generated by the larger turbo.
Approximately 10,000 hours of vehicle testing and development and almost 1,000 rig and vehicle-based tests went into assuring durability on Focus RS.
Wheeler explains: “Our focus was on giving the customer a fully engineered car that delivers high performance without the traditional compromises of performance tuning. We’ve worked extensively to make sure Focus RS is as durable as every other Focus, and introduced additional test programmes to ensure durability under high speed and race track conditions.”
Production of Focus RS is also straightforward, with the car being assembled on Ford of Europe’s principal Focus production line in Saarlouis, Germany. The front suspension and RevoKnuckle is accommodated in a sub-assembly before final assembly, ensuring the only line modifications required were to accommodate Focus RS’ wider track.
“This car is the perfect way to celebrate our success with RS and with Focus, on both road and rally. It’s the fastest European Ford production car ever, the most powerful Ford RS and probably the most powerful front-wheel-drive car on sale today. Any way you look at it, it’s something special,” concludes Wheeler.
The Ford RS comes with a 5 year / 90 000km Service Plan and a comprehensive 4 year/120 000km warranty with service intervals of 15 000kms. Customers will also benefit from 3 years of Roadside Assistance and a 5 year corrosion warranty.