When Ford unveiled the all-new Focus RS hot hatchback at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, it pegged the power output at impressive 315 horsepower. Having had many months to tune and refine the car’s turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, Ford engineers have now certified it to produce 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque.
And all of that power will be routed to all four wheels through a sophisticated all-wheel drive system. Hot hatch indeed.
Perhaps better yet, the manual gearbox-only RS will be idiot-proof. Well, kind of. The car’s auto start-stop system stops the engine at traffic lights and automatically restarts it when the clutch pedal is engaged — to save precious fuel by keeping the engine off when it might otherwise be idling. It also now works to prevent stalling with a system called “stall recovery.”
After the driver stalls the car, rather than having to depress the clutch and turn the key again, the engine will restart as soon as you fully depress the clutch. This might seem innocuous, but if you’ve ever stalled a car for a few seconds in traffic, while nervously slamming the clutch pedal and grabbing the key, it all can feel like an eternity. Essentially, this technology saves drivers part of that embarrassment of stalling their car.
When not futzing with stall recovery, drivers will be delighted by the car’s 350 hp. This heap of pony power is thanks in large part to the EcoBoost’s turbocharger that makes 23.2 psi. For comparison, the turbo on your mom’s Volvo wagon only made a measly 9 psi.
That monster turbo pressure is backed by a large intercooler that keeps the turbines cool when they’re spinning to ungodly speeds. Ensuring the engine can handle such immense pressure, the cylinders have been lined with high-tensile cast iron and the engine block is topped with what Ford is calling a “high-performance” head gasket. Keeping the air coming into the engine is a low-restriction intake manifold, and a high-performance exhaust expels it once the cylinders have done their job.
Keen to get behind the wheel of Ford’s hottest hatch to date? Me, too. Luckily, we won’t have to wait long, as production on the Focus RS starts later this year.