The Focus RS is the new King of the Hot Hatches! 350 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque out of a 2.3 liter Ecoboost, all-wheel drive, and for a sticker price of just a hair under $36,000? These are the ingredients for insane sales and even more demand. Now, one must wonder whether there is something even more hardcore than the already maxed out Focus RS? The rumor is strong with this one, as Australian’s Motor reports the possibility of the Focus RS500!Motor claims to have insider sources claiming that an even more hardcore version of the Focus RS is under consideration by the head honchos at Ford. They stated:
Ford’s options for bringing extra grip, performance and excitement to the new RS will be delivered mainly through weight saving and upgrading the RS’s drivetrain. This will be possible in a car with an asking price that could even eclipse the $80,000 of its rivals.
With a higher budget, there’s plenty of potential for improving the car’s power-to-weight ratio by adding lightness to a more expensive version.However, the car’s 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine is already operating close to its maximum and attempts to conjure more power will be hampered by the lack of room for additional cooling capacity.
But if the potential is there to break the 4.0sec 0-100km/h barrier, expect Ford to seize it.
Here are the ways that the Focus RS can be potentially modified to its RS500 flavor:
Ford could employ a new front bumper to address the current car’s lack of cooling capacity for additional power. Expect ever larger vents and radiators.AXLE ROSE
Expect an electronically controlled limited-slip differential for the front axle, tuned to work with the GKN-supplied rear drive unit. A front LSD is known to improve the RS’s handling and was considered for the standard car.MASS EXODUS
Polycarbonate glazing, carbonfibre-reinforced plastic bodywork, forged aluminium suspension componentry, carbonfibre brakes, less noise insulation and a stripped-out interior could take upwards of 100kg out of the car – even after the drivetrain additions under consideration have been grafted on.
The obvious option for a double-clutch automatic would be Ford’s Powershift transmission, supplied by Getrag, but it is currently rated for engines with peak torque of 450Nm, so it would need some modification.TYRE GAME
The regular RS’s claim (4.7sec) would suggest there’s plenty to do to meet the RS3’s 4.3sec, but company insiders have confirmed that even the standard car is much closer to Germany’s big hitters when fitted with optional 19-inch forged wheels and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres.
All these upgrades does sound like it would make for an even more potent Focus RS: More cooling, lighter weight components, faster shifting, and stickier rubbers. But at a rumored $80,000 sticker price the hypothetical RS500 would encroach upon some more serious contenders and place the budget Focus platform in a whole different league. We’re not sure whether this hearsay Focus RS500 will ever hit production, but if it does, you bet we’ll be lining up to test one out!
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