Ford Motors has clarified that there are no plans to launch fourth-gen Focus RS, the performance-based version of the current-gen Focus. The announcement came hours after the power train options surfaced online. According to reports, the decision has been made owing to the following reasons- stricter emission standard, increased CO2 taxation, and high development cost for the prototype. This hybrid power train focused on performance is not cost-effective.
Commenting on the development, Ford Spokesperson says “As a result of pan-European emission standards, increased CO2 taxation and high cost of developing an RS with some sort of electrification for a relatively low volume of vehicles, we are not planning another RS version of the Focus".
He further elaborated “We remain committed to Ford Performance vehicles in Europe as part of our DNA with cars like multi-award-winning Focus and Fiesta ST as well as our Mustang ranger Raptor models".
The Focus RS was expected to be a mild hybrid with a 2.3Litre turbocharged petrol engine with 48 Volt mild-hybrid or fully hybrid to make up to 300kW. The model emits a carbon footprint of 175g/Km of CO2 against an average of 95g/km of CO2 emissions across their range according to the newer emission standard that is set to come to effect from 2021.
So it means no Focus RS on cards anytime soon making the Focus ST lead the way in the model with 280hp in its top-spec variant. However, we can expect the next-gen Focus in 2022 at the earliest. The carmaker is determined to launch 18 mild hybrids and full hybrid cars by 2022 including the electric power train Mustang in 2022. In the global market, the hatchback has failed to make an impact with no units sold in the UK and insufficient demand in mass markets like China has implied pulling off the fourth-gen Focus.
If launched, the hatchback will make the perfect rival to Mercedes AMG A45 and Audi RS8 but at a much more affordable price. This could mean buyers will now turn to the likes of VW Golf R, Honda Civic Type R, and Renault Megane RS.
In the Indian market, Ford India has no plans to launch the Focus hatchback as the carmaker has invested hefty numbers in upgrading its current line up to newer BS-VI emission norms. Considering the love and fan following for Mustang in India, Ford is most likely to launch the Mustang facelift later this year and all-electric Mustang Mach-E in 2021.