The Ford Focus hasn’t been produced by the Ford Motor Company since 2018. Ford has moved away from cars, except for the iconic Mustang. But according to a report in Cars magazine, a European-focused publication, Ford may be working on a limited edition, Focus RS. Now, whether this comes to the U.S. market or not is another story. But I sure hope it does!
Ford still sells the Focus in Europe and Australia and this sporty, fun hatchback does well in those markets. In the U.S. Ford has committed to moving on from cars and turning their attention toward SUVs and trucks. The last sporty iteration of the Focus was the ST, which jammed out 252 horsepower and was quite a hot little hatchback. It was a youth-oriented car for Ford with performance the focus. As such the Focus ST remains the last of the manufactured Focus here in the United States.
Ford Focus: 1998-2018
There were three generations of the Focus produced by Ford. While the Focus debuted in Europe in 1998 as a replacement to the Escort, it didn’t make its way to the U.S. until the 1999 model year. It was available as a four-door and two-door sedan only initially. It wasn’t until the 2011 model year that the Focus really evolved as something youth-focused and performance driven. For this model year, a five-door hatchback debuted to much praise. There was the introduction of a fuel-efficient 2.0-liter direct-injected engine.
Midway through this generation, Ford unveiled the performance-focused ST and RS models. The RS borrowed the Mustang’s 2.3-liter Ecoboost engine. Both the ST and RS showed Ford’s focus on performance and that they still knew how to produce a small, fun-to-drive hatch. But they discontinued production of the Focus in 2018 here in the United States. So, will Ford target those same consumers who are craving performance, but wouldn’t normally consider a Mustang?
Ford Shifts to Electrification and Performance
Part of this Focus RS rumor is that Ford will integrate hybrid technology with Ecoboost to create a car that has even more power and performance. This is the part of the rumor that’s true and believable. We all know that Ford is shifting its attention toward electrification and away from combustion engines. So if Ford is going to dabble in small performance cars, especially aimed at a youthful buyer, why not load up the Focus with such technology.
When the Focus RS was last produced in Europe it had 350 horsepower, making it the fastest Focus ever produced. So you could speculate that with an electrical integrated starter-generator that such a Focus could exceed 400 horsepower. Could you imagine such a small sporty hatchback? I know something like this would scratch me right where I itch. Additionally the Focus RS would be all-wheel drive.
So, we are begging Ford Performance to go forward with these plans, but don’t leave us out here in the United States. There’s still a market for such vehicles here and hey if it’s got hybrid technology that can help the government CAFE regulations as well. So it’s a win-win for everyone.
Jimmy Dinsmore has been an automotive journalist for more than a decade and been a writer since the high school. His Driver’s Side column features new car reviews and runs in several newspapers throughout the country. In addition to being a nationally syndicated automotive columnist, Jimmy has been published in a compilation book about children growing up with disabilities, where he shared his own very personal experience. He is also co-author of the book “Mustang by Design” and “Ford Trucks: A Unique Look at the Technical History of America’s Most Popular Truck”. Also, Jimmy works in the social media marketing world for a Canadian automotive training aid manufacturing company. Follow Jimmy on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.