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Archive for the ‘Ford Focus’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Ford Focus

The Ford Focus has finally entered its fourth generation, and it brings a lot of change in terms of design, comfort, and economy. It comes complete with a largely revamped interior and loads of new technology; not to mention a range of new engines that are more powerful and more efficient. As usual, the new Focus will call Europe (and China) home first, before coming to the United States for the 2019 model year.

PostHeaderIcon Here’s a Preview of What the Ford Focus ST and Focus RS Might Look Like

Ford just unveiled the fourth-generation Focus in London, and it’s pretty obvious that we have a new exciting hatchback underway. Sportier than ever before on the outside and equipped with better features on the inside, it’s powered by four drivetrains in Europe, including both gasoline and diesel options. And, just like the smaller Ka+ and Fiesta, it gained a crossover-inspired Active version. Having seen the new Focus, I can’t help but wonder how the ST and RS versions will look like. A couple of new renderings from X-Tomi Design provide the answer.

PostHeaderIcon The New Ford Focus is Here, and It’s Itching for a Shot at the Volkswagen Golf and Honda Civic

After seven years on the market, it’s time for the third-gen Focus to be put to rest as an all-new generation comes to life with major improvements in tow. Ford designed the fourth-gen Focus from the ground up, giving it some design cues from the now-defunct third-gen Focus RS to go with some seriously upgraded tech, new safety features, and a range of new engines that are not only more powerful but more efficient as well. Europe and China will see the fourth-gen Focus hit dealers by the turn of the year, but the U.S. won’t see the new model until sometime in 2019.

PostHeaderIcon One Minute News: Ford Teases the Focus Yet Again; Debut Imminent

The next-gen Ford Focus is set to debut, and Ford just can’t quit putting out the teasers in anticipation. It’s set to take on the Volkswagen Golf, Chevy Cruze, and Honda Civic, so it needs to be a looker. Work has it that it will be and you can even expect the Focus ST and Vignale to be released sometime this year as well. Word about the drivetrain is still nonexistent, but the Focus should grow a bit to offer more room inside and the Focus RS, which could come to be long before the end of the fourth-gen’s lifecycle, could even make use of Ford’s new Hybrid technology that could push the hatchback beyond the 400 horsepower mark. All eyes are on Ford today, folks. Stay tuned for the latest!

PostHeaderIcon Ford Teases the Next-Gen Focus Just Days Before its Debut

The unveiling of the next-generation Ford Focus is upon us. We’ve already seen the model numerous times through spy shots of test mules and photo shoots. Now, it’s Ford that’s doing the teasing courtesy of a new video that reveals a good number of details about the fourth-generation model. The all-new Ford Focus will make its highly anticipated debut next Wednesday, April 10. Circle those calendars, folks. The new Focus is arriving.

PostHeaderIcon The Focus RS Heritage Edition is Here to Bid Farewell to the Current Generation

The current-generation Ford Focus RS has enjoyed an eventful life since it was unveiled at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. But like all good things, the Focus RS’s time in the sun is about to end. Weep not, though, dear friends, because Ford is giving the hot hatch the proper swan song with the release of the Focus RS Heritage Edition. Limited to just 50 units, the Focus RS Heritage doesn’t dabble in the subtleties. It’s got enough goodies and equipment to make even hardened hot hatch fans tremble in excitement. And, if that little tease isn’t enough to persuade you, maybe the hatch’s bright orange exterior will do the trick.


2018 The Focus RS Heritage Edition is Here to Bid Farewell to the Current Generation - image 768467
“April 6, 2018. That’s the date the final MkIII Ford Focus RS will roll out of the production facility in Germany”

April 6, 2018. That’s the date the final MkIII Ford Focus RS will roll out of the production facility in Germany. When that day comes, we can officially say goodbye to the hoonigan hot hatch. Fortunately, we still have a little over a month before that date so we might as well celebrate the release of the Heritage Edition. We don’t know when the next-gen Focus RS will arrive, but you can bet it’s not going to be for another few years.

The Focus RS Heritage Edition is hard to miss. That’s usually what happens when a car — any car — comes with a Deep Orange paint finish. In addition to its attention-grabbing color, the RS Heritage Edition also features contrasting black door mirrors, a black rear spoiler, and grey brake calipers peaking from behind the black forged alloy wheels. Step inside the interior of the hot hatch, and you’ll be welcomed by part-leather Recaro seats, a heated steering wheel, and privacy glass for those moments where you want some, well, privacy. Stare up at the roof, and you’ll see a nice sunroof that’s also included in the package.

As splashy as these upgrades are, they’re not the headline acts of the Focus RS Heritage Edition. Those distinctions belong to the FPM Mountune power upgrade and the front mechanical Quaife limited-slip differential. The former is made up of a high-flow induction kit and uprated turbo re-circulating and calibration, helping the hot hatch’s 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine increase its output from 350 horsepower to a mouth-watering 375 ponies. Torque numbers also increased from 347 pound-feet to 377 pound-feet, enough to help the Focus RS Heritage Edition accelerate off the line an orange-clad speedster. Ford also focused on improving the hot hatch’s driving experience. That’s where the front mechanical Quaife limited-slip differential comes into the picture.


2018 The Focus RS Heritage Edition is Here to Bid Farewell to the Current Generation - image 768468
“The Ford Focus RS Heritage Edition is a fitting send-off special edition model for a hot hatch that has made many of us squeal in delight while driving it”

Overall, the Ford Focus RS Heritage Edition is a fitting send-off special edition model for a hot hatch that has made many of us squeal in delight while driving it. It seems unfair to think that the next installment of this fiery pocket rocket has no timetable yet, but that’s the nature of the beast. There have been rumors that the RS will make a comeback on the fourth-generation Focus, but we’re not going to get our hopes up this early. The potential for disappointment is there.

For now, let’s celebrate what the MkIII Ford Focus RS meant to all of us. It was the first hot hath to have its very own drift mode, and anybody who has ever gotten to try it out will attest to its pee-inducing capabilities. So if you’re ready to say goodbye to the current-generation Focus RS, there’s no better way to say adieu than to make a run at one of the 50 Focus RS Heritage models that Ford is rolling out. It doesn’t come cheap — price is at £39,895 ($56,000) — but that’s the price you have to pay for a chance to own a future collectible, even if it’s dressed up in a color that would make the sun turn its head around.

References

Ford Focus RS


2016 Ford Focus RS - image 664705

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Focus RS.


maker logos - image 744958

Read more Ford news.

PostHeaderIcon Focus RS Coolant Problem Finally Solved: Ford Used the Wrong Head Gasket

At this point, just about everyone knows about the big coolant-burning problem with the Ford Focus RS. As it turns out, it’s not a problem with the engine at all, but really a problem with the head gasket used to seal the mating surface between the cylinder head and the engine block. One Focus RS owner had been digging into the problem for quite some time, reporting this problem to a very long thread on FocusRS.org forums. Upon getting his engine apart found that his head gasket was, indeed, blown. But, it’s not the fault of the gasket itself, as the gasket wasn’t designed for the Focus RS – it was designed for the Eco Boost Mustang, as evidenced by the part number cast into the metal portion of the gasket itself.

Keep reading to learn more about this breaking development

Your Focus RS has a bad Head Gasket? Nope.. It’s the Wrong Gasket


The images you see in the tweet above were originally posted on FocusRS.org and later investigated by Bozi Tatarevic. Upon noticing that the part number was likely that of the gasket for the 2.3-liter found in the EcoBoost Mustang. After reaching out to a parts supplier, who has requested to remain anonymous, it was actually confirmed that that part number was marked as originally being built for the EcoBoost:

And, this is where things get interesting because it’s commonly believed that the EcoBoost Mustang and the Focus RS have the same engine crammed under the hood. That, however, couldn’t be further from the truth. There are lots of differences, including different materials used in the composition of the block and cylinder heads. Despite the fact that the engines are the same displacement, and even look somewhat similar at some angles, they are actually unique to one another, which means the coolant passages between the block and cylinder head of the RS are different than those in the engine of the EcoBoost. As such, the incorrect gasket in the Focus RS causes a coolant blockage. This ends up resulting in a hotspot within that part of the engine or cylinder head. The coolant eventually boils and is forcefully pushed out between the mating surface – blowing the head gasket.


Focus RS Coolant Problem Finally Solved: Ford Used the Wrong Head Gasket - image 664711
“The problem is limited to early models and maybe 3 percent of the entire production run, so it only affects a handful of models in the grand scheme of things”

As for how this happened remains unclear. It could have been a simple mistake in the rush to get production going. After all, there was a problem with Ford hitting its delivery targets and a ton of drama around it; mistakes happen when you rush. The problem is limited to early models and maybe 3 percent of the entire production run, so it only affects a handful of models in the grand scheme of things. The chances are that someone grabbed the wrong crate in a hurry and, since the engines are so similar, nobody noticed the problem.

Ford, so far, has been sending customers that have fallen victim to this problem back to the dealer for warranty repair, but now you really have to ask: Have the hot spots created by the lack of coolant flow pose any risk to the engine down the road? Is there a higher chance of engine or component failure? An official word from Ford or an official fix has yet to be announced, but with all of this new information coming to light, you can bet the blue oval with start investigating. Ford will likely continue to replace the head gaskets, only under recall instead of warranty, but with any luck, customers will find themselves getting all new engines – it would be an easy way to ensure there won’t be any other problems as a result of this seemingly minor but catastrophic production mistake.


2016 Ford Focus RS - image 664713
“Ford, so far, has been sending customers that have fallen victim to this problem back to the dealer for warranty repair”

What do you make of all of this? Are you one of Ford’s customers that are dealing with this problem? If so, leave us a comment below telling us what you expect the official fix to be.

References

Ford Focus RS


2016 Ford Focus RS - image 664705

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Focus RS.


maker logos - image 744958

Read more Ford news.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Admits 2.3-liter EcoBoost in early Focus RS Models Burn Coolant

The pin has finally dropped on the Ford Focus RS’ beleaguered 2.3-liter Ecoboost engine. After months of investigating, Ford has acknowledged that the Ecoboost engine powering the hot hatch has an issue that causes it to consume coolant fluid. Speaking with Autocar, the Blue Oval admitted that the problem causes some 2016 and 2017 models of the Focus RS to produce “white exhaust smoke,” a by-product of burning coolant during cold running.


2016 Ford Focus RS - image 702708
“The good news here is that Ford has figured out the problem and it’s admitting it to the world”

The good news here is that Ford has figured out the problem and it’s admitting it to the world. It’s taking responsibly for the issues that have plagued the 2.3-liter Ecoboost engine in the Focus RS. That’s a good first step. The next step, however, is a lot trickier. It’s determining the cause of the issue. To that end, Ford has yet to identify why the problem is manifesting itself, even on cars that have as little as 6,000 miles on them.

For now, a spokesman for Ford said that the automaker is already working hard on finding a repair program that can address the issues. It didn’t elaborate on the details of this program so there’s no telling how long that’s going to take. For now, Ford is advising owners of 2016 and 2017 Focus RS models to stay vigilant in case the symptoms manifest on their cars. In the event that they do, the Ford spokesman said that “customers should visit their dealer for an inspection and repair under warranty.”


2016 Ford Focus RS – Driven - image 718797
“Ford has replaced several affected engines with all-new units”

The scope of repairs are unclear themselves, but Ford has replaced several affected engines with all-new units, including one example early this year when a Focus RS owner posted a video on YouTube to point out the issues on his hot hatch. Others have also come out and suggested that one of the likely issues on the engine revolves around the head gasket failing to seal the engine block to the head effectively.

Editor’s Note: Various sources have said that the problem comes from deformation between the engine block and the cylinder head that occurs as the engine heats and cools. When the engine warms up, the block and head seal as they should. When the engine cools down, the gap returns, and engine coolant can enter the combustion chamber of one or more cylinders. This problem, however, is limited to the 2.3-liter EcoBoost found in the Focus RS. The EcoBoost Mustang with the 2.3-liter is free of this problem because the engine block and cylinder heads used for the engine in that model are composed of different materials. Until a fix can be put into place, which could include replacing the cylinder head, engine block, or the entire engine in affected vehicles, your best bet is to let the engine idle until it reaches operating temperature before driving. This will limit the damage caused by burning coolant when the engine is cold and prolong the life of various components like the spark plugs, turbocharger, and catalytic converters.

References

Ford Focus RS


2016 Ford Focus RS - image 664728

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Focus RS.


2016 Ford Focus RS – Driven - image 718773

Read our full driven review on the 2016 Ford Focus RS.


maker logos - image 744958

Read more Ford news.

PostHeaderIcon Feel Your Soul Ache as this Ford Focus RS Gets Crushed

If you have a weak stomach for cars getting destroyed, you might want to turn your heads away now. If you’re still here, then this is the kind of video that’s going to make you cringe. The subject of the video is a Ford Focus RS. It’s clearly seen better days, but it still looks in good enough shape to be salvaged. Unfortunately, it only takes a few seconds for the narrative to flip on this unsuspecting Focus RS as a junkyard crane uses its claws to crush it, pick it up, and drop it in a garbage container.

It’s unclear why the Focus RS had to suffer this horrible fate, but my best guess is that this particular example may have been a prototype or a test car of some kind. Regardless, seeing it get treated that way is jarring, especially considering how popular the Focus RS has become in its segment.

To make things worse, a Ford Focus ST Estate shows up towards the end of the video after getting slammed to the ground by a forklift. It had no license plates like the Focus RS that came before it, so you can probably make a guess on where it’s headed too. Either way, it’s a sad day to be a Ford Focus fan. As popular as the model has become, it apparently isn’t immune to getting treated like scrap metal.

References

Ford Focus RS


2016 Ford Focus RS - image 664728

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Focus RS.


2016 Ford Focus RS – Driven - image 718773

Read our full driven review on the 2016 Ford Focus RS.



Read more Ford news.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Focus ST by Blood Type Racing

Launched in 2012, the latest Focus ST was the company’s range-topping hatchback until the RS model arrived for the 2016 model year. Although the ST was revised for 2015, the drivetrain remained unchanged, as did performance. As a result, the Focus ST lost its place under the spotlight as soon as the Focus RS made its entrance. Fortunately, several tuning companies are still offering upgrades for the ST, which remains an important model in the lineup despite being some five years old as of 2017. Blood Type Racing is one of those companies, and it just unveiled a flashy package for the 2017 SEMA Show.

Described as a concept that combines “lifestyle elements of moving images with motorsports,” Blood Type Racing’s Focus ST boasts several upgrades inside and out, as well as under the hood. And while the aero kit is heavily based on modern racing, the wheel design and the paint remind of flashy vehicles you usually see in the Fast & Furious franchise. What’s more, the hatchback sports a roof rack and a custom landing pad for drones. A rather awkward package for what sort of elements it combines, but more than suitable for an event like the SEMA Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford Focus ST by Blood Type Racing.

Exterior


2017 Ford Focus ST by Blood Type Racing - image 738527
“Up front, it's the massive splitter that draws the most attention”

Blood Type Racing’s take on the Focus ST is somewhat weird, in the sense that it blends a race-specific exterior with a flashy paint and rims that are usually seen on tuning show cars (not exactly recommended for track use). But the car fits quite nicely in the SEMA Show context, where many tuning companies display out-of-the-box approaches on road-legal cars.

There are quite a few features that help this Focus ST stand out from the pack. Up front, it’s the massive splitter that draws the most attention. Made from carbon-fiber by Rally Innovations, it’s very similar to what we can usually seen on GT3- and GT4-spec race cars. The bumper and engine hood were also given a more aggressive design, but nothing compared to the really wide fenders from SoCal Garage.


2017 Ford Focus ST by Blood Type Racing - image 738528
“Around back, there's a massive, carbon-fiber wing atop the tailgate”

Onto the sides, we can see a set of B-Forged Performance wheels that measure 19-inch and feature a unique, twin-seven-spoke design and a brushed smoke gloss.The rims are wrapped in low-profile Toyo T1 Sports tires that sunk deep into the body under the flares. They look really cool, but I wouldn’t drive this car on a race track with this wheel and tire configuration. The blacked-out pillars and the carbon-fiber side skirts complete the look.

Around back, there’s a massive, carbon-fiber wing atop the tailgate, also provided by Rally Innovations. The roof carries a Thule rack system that includes a custom drone helipad that’s supposed to add “functionality to curb appeal.” But I think is just a fancy feature that’s not exactly useful, as landing a drone on such a small platform is rather difficult and inconvenient. But hey, drones are popular nowadays and I’m sure that most of the SEMA crowd will find this feature interesting.

Finally, the car is finished in a flashy Midnight Purple paint created by BASF, while the standard headlamps were replaced by Diode Dynamics units for a more modern look.

Interior


2014 Ford Focus ST - image 513098

Note: standard Ford Focus ST pictured here.

“Cabin upgrades include Sabelt carbon-fiber seats and a race-spec roll bar and harness system”

There are quite a lot of upgrades to talk about inside the cabin too. Arguably the most interesting is the racing package that includes Sabelt’s carbon-fiber seats with four-point harnesses. The latter are attached to an Autopower roll bar with harness bar, while the rear section comes with a BTR storage compartment for camera and drone. There’s also a SoCal Garage carbon-fiber steering wheel and a Ford Performance short-throw shifter. But this Focus ST isn’t just about racing and all the gear you need to make a cool video. Blood Type Racing also added all weather floor mats for enhanced practicality and illuminated door sill plates for a bit of glitz. Both were taken from the Ford Accessories catalog.

Drivetrain


2014 Ford Focus ST - image 513106

Note: standard Ford Focus ST pictured here.

“The 2.3-liter EcoBoost was enhanced with a Full Race Turbo kit that cuts turbo lag”

Under the hood, this souped-up hatchback hides the same 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine as the stock Focus ST. However, the four-banger was enhanced with a Full Race Turbo kit that cuts turbo lag for quicker throttle response and increased output. It also features a Borg Warner EFI turbo instead of the standard unit and a Ford Performance exhaust. Blood Type Racing also added a Mishimoto radiator and coolant reservoir, a new, improved intercooler, and a Hoonigan oil cap. A COBB Tunning Accessport tuner revised by Blood Type Racing rounds off the engine package.

Unfortunately, there’s no word as to how powerful the beefed-up EcoBoost engine is after all these upgrades. The unit cranks out 252 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque in stock configuration and this package could increase that to around 270 horses and 290 pound-feet. The extra oopmh should also drop the 0-to-60 mph sprint from the standard 5.9 to around 5.7 seconds.

More upgrades were made to the chassis, starting with a performance air suspension from Air Lift. A Pierce Motorsports underbody brace enhances stability, while a bigger brake kit from Wilwood provides the necessary stopping power.

Conclusion


2017 Ford Focus ST by Blood Type Racing - image 738198

While Blood Type Racing’s take is definitely exciting as far as performance upgrades go, it’s a bit too exotic (or may I should say flashy?) for my taste. And it has nothing to do with the purple paint. Though I’m not a big fan of these Fast & Furious type finishes, I actually like how it looks the Focus ST. What I don’t like about this build are the wheels, which are rather inappropriate for a race-inspired body. I also think that the roof rack system is out of place, while the drone roof pad is anything but necessary. Why would I want to land a drone on the roof on my car when I can use any surface on the ground? Sure, it’s not a bad idea if you look at this car as a SEMA Show project only, but it’s not a feature I’d pay for in an aftermarket tuning package.

  • Leave it
    • Roof rack doesn’t go well with the race-inspired design
    • Drone landing pad is a useless feature

References

Ford Focus ST


2014 Ford Focus ST - image 513093

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Focus ST.


2017 Hyundai HyperEconiq Ioniq - image 737254

Read more SEMA news.

PostHeaderIcon You Think You Can Beat A Real-Life Ford Focus RS On Forza Motorsport 6?

At some point in our video game racing careers, most of us have probably wondered if our driving skills are up-to-par with actual race car drivers. I know I’ve had that thought in my years playing Gran Turismo. Well, for those who are determined to see that thought through, Ford is laying down a challenge to see if gamers really are as good as they say are. All they have to do is beat a lap time posted by a brand-new Ford Focus RS by driving their own Focus RS… in the world of Forza Motorsport 6.

The challenge is called “Tame the Track” and the objective of it is pretty straightforward. Chip Ganassi Racing driver Harry Tincknell will post an undisclosed lap time at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. Contestants who show up at the Gamescom event in Belgium later this month will then have an opportunity to beat Tincknell’s lap time using a Focus RS in Forza Motorsport 6 and driving it in the virtual representation of the world-famous race track. Whoever ends up posting the fastest lap times will then be flown to the actual Spa-Francorchamps track where they’ll meet up with no less than Tincknell himself for an afternoon of fun times that include driving a real Focus RS around the race track. In addition to that, winners will also receive some sweet digs for their accomplishments, including a pair of Recaro seats and goodies courtesy of B&O Play. The “Tame the Track” challenge will be open from August 23 to August 25 at Gamescom. Those three days should be more than enough time for gamers to see if they’re as good as they say they are.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Focus RS by Mountune

Mountune may not have the most famous name in the aftermarket tuning circle, but don’t let its relative anonymity distract you from what the tuner is fully capable of. We already saw what happens when it gets its hands on the Ford Focus RS. It did so last year with Ford Performance and managed to squeeze out 375 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. Now it’s back with a bigger and better upgrade for the hot hatch as calls for a 400-horsepower Ford Focus RS have finally been answered.

The scope of Mountune’s new modifications for the Focus RS covers a lot of ground as far as mechanical upgrades are concerned. There’s very little in the way of aesthetic enhancements, so customers are advised to find them elsewhere, be it from Ford or another aftermarket company. Nevertheless, the program’s lack of versatility shouldn’t be held against it, not with the promise of incredible power and performance. Take this kit from Mountune however you want to, but rest assured, this is as “no-nonsense” as any tuning program we’ve come across for the Ford Focus RS. It was developed for one purpose – power for ages – and the resulting numbers certainly speak for themselves.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Hot Hatch Shakedown – Honda Civic Type R Vs. Ford Focus RS

For older stateside hot hatch fans out there, it’s probably crystal clear that we’re currently in a new golden age of performance, one that was once relegated to the realm of fantasy and bench racing. High-powered, tear-drop-shaped compacts with an odd number of doors, turbocharged power, and sports car-like handling are finally, finally finding their way to the U.S. market, and after decades of waiting and ogling from afar, U.S. buyers will soon have a chance to get behind the wheel of four-wheeled superstars previously considered forbidden fruit solely for Europe and Japan. Two of the biggest contenders in this space are the Honda Civic Type R and the Ford Focus RS, both incredible cars aimed squarely at the enthusiast buyer. But which is better?

You can’t help but put these two compact titans in a side-by-side comparison. Both are roughly the same in terms of cost, both come with turbocharged four-cylinder engines, both get manual transmissions, and both offer five-door practicality. Both also carry a long history of making speed lovers smile, and command a veritable army of zealous followers to champion their claim to hot hatch supremacy.

But there are some serious differences as well. While the Focus is an AWD hammer, boasting four corners of grip and some impressive firepower under the hood, the Civic is a FWD scalpel, packing less weight and a history of apex-hunting prowess.

Which will come out on top – the Blue Oval Drift Mode bomber, or the H Badge slice and dice katana? It’s America versus Japan in a hot hatch shakedown. Read on for our take.

Continue reading for the full comparison.


PostHeaderIcon Ford Focus

The Ford Focus was first launched in the European marking in 1998 but came to North America for the 2000 model year as a replacement for the Ford Escort and its cousin, the Mercury Tracer. Despite being a “cheaper” model with goofy, bubbly headlights and a somewhat lackluster interior, the Focus was a big hit. The first generation model ran until 2004 and won more than 60 awards during its lifespan. It even found itself on Car and Driver’s Ten Best List. Ford has continued to improve on the looks and overall function of the Focus, and it is currently in its third generation, with a facelift taking place for the 2015 model year.

With the current generation being six years old, it’s not all that shocking that our spy photographers have caught what we believe to be the next-generation Focus out doing some cold weather testing. Oddly, it isn’t under any camo, and it looks quite similar to the facelifted Focus that debuted in 2015. Be that as it may, there are still some significant changes to mention – some that might be hinting that this mule is sporting an old, modified body as a decoy.

While the body may very well be a decoy, we can still make some predictions about the next-gen Focus. Take a little walk with me as I talk about what we see in the photos, and what we can expect when the next-gen Focus is unveiled sometime in the future.

Update 3/15/2017: We have received a second round of spy shots that show the next-gen Focus playing in the snow and on the ice. This time around, however, it’s sporting what appears to be the official body with lots of camo and padding to throw us off. Check out the exterior section below to learn all about it.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Ford Focus.


PostHeaderIcon Compact Hatchback Battle Royal – Finding The Best In A Six-Model Slugfest

Here’s the scenario – you want a car, but it has to be the right car. It’s gotta be practical and comfortable, but it can’t be a complete snooze-fest behind the wheel either. You don’t want a crossover, and a sedan isn’t gonna cut it. What you want is a hatchback, something with a little zest and personality, but something that won’t break the bank. Thankfully, there are plenty of options out there, but which to choose? To help you decide, we’ve gathered six of the top contenders and put them head-to-head in the following comparison article. Let’s get ready to rumble.

To keep it all apples-to-apples, each of the entries in our comparison comes packaged in a five-door body style, gets standard FWD, and is instilled with at least a hint of sportiness. Each is also tagged with an MSRP around the $20,000 mark. With criteria like that, we decided to include the Ford Focus ST, Honda Civic Hatchback, Hyundai Elantra GT, Mazda 3 Hatchback, Mini Cooper Hardtop Four-Door, and Volkswagen Golf GTI.

While all six of these hatchbacks are solid choices in their own right, the question remains – which is the best? Read on for our take.

Continue reading for the full comparison.


PostHeaderIcon Ford Performance to Give Focus RS the EcoBoost Mustang Treatment

It’s only been a few days since Ford announced that the EcoBoost Mustang was finally getting some attention from Ford Performance. It’s not a lot, but the EcoBoost can now be equipped with a cold air intake and an ECU remap that boosts its output by 25 horsepower and 70 pound-feet of torque, bringing the grand total up to 335 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. AS fate would have it, the Focus RS still has 15 ponies on the EcoBoost Mustang, but the Mustang now tops the RS’ torque by 40 pound-feet. It took about five minutes for RS fanboys everywhere to call out that the RS uses the same 2.3-liter engine as the EcoBoost Mustang. Well, you RS fanboys can rest easy, as Jesse Kershaw told Road & Track that there is a calibration kit for the RS coming down the pipeline.

“From an engine and powertrain standpoint, we feel very comfortable with doing something on the RS,” said Kershaw. “I hesitate to give any dates or any more information than that, but I can tell you we’re working on it, and we fully expect to have a Focus RS calibration in the future.”

With that in mind, it’s also important to remember that the RS does have at least one major limitation – that all-wheel-drive system. See that system was designed and specifically optimized for the RS’ factory output of 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. On top of that, the RS already has some advanced ECU calibration to give those extra 40 ponies over the EcoBoost Mustang. So, don’t expect this tuning package from Ford Performance to show up tomorrow, as there is some work to do. But, coming from Ford Performance, it should offer mild bumps in horsepower and torque, while also allowing you to maintain your factory warranty.

Keep reading for the rest of the story


PostHeaderIcon Ken Block Turns an Industrial Park into a Playground in Gymkhana NINE

So, Ken Block has just released Gymkhana NINE, the latest installment in a series that has given auto heads a lot of joy over the years. Unlike the seventh and eighth versions of Gymkhana, NINE was filmed in what is essentially a closed-off abandoned industrial estate. It’s not exactly Los Angeles or Dubai, but the more private setting does make a callback to the roots of Gymkhana, right down to the ridiculous stunts and preposterous amount of tire smoke.

I don’t want to be a prisoner-of-the-moment here and call NINE the best Gymkhana episode yet, but there is a visceral joy in watching the CEO of burnouts perform one insane stunt after another, including jumping directly in the face of an incoming train and touching those rear tires on the literal edge of a pier in the middle of performing those patented burnouts.

To be clear, Block wasn’t the only star of Gymkhana NINE. Sharing co-star honors is his all new 600-horsepower Ford Focus RS RX, the same car that he’ll be kicking some dirt in at the World Rallycross Championship. Together, man and machine give us a Gymkhana episode of a lifetime, one that we’re unlikely to forget anytime soon and foolish to even attempt on our own.


PostHeaderIcon Ford To Start Offering Driving Lessons To Focus RS Owners

One of the most important features of the Ford Focus RS is its Drift Mode, which Ford engineers apparently created by accident. It turned out to be a stroke of genius for the Blue Oval and now, the automaker is capitalizing on the hot hatch’s popularity by offering a free one-day course at the Ford Performance Racing School in Grantsville, Utah for owners of 2016 and 2017 Focus RS models.

The complimentary driving school is called the RS Adrenaline Academy. It’s similar in a lot of ways to the ST Octane Academy that Ford previously offered to owners of the Focus ST and Fiesta ST models. The only difference is that this program is dedicated to the Focus RS and comes with classroom discussions, shifting, braking, and cornering exercises, and practical applications of all four driving modes found in the Focus RS, most notably the Drift Mode.

While the whole course comes free of charge, the airfare and accommodations to go to Utah isn’t. Interested participants will have to shoulder those expenses and if they enjoy their time in the facility, Ford is also offering a second-day session with the Ford Mustang GT at an added cost. Registration is now open on the dedicated RS Adrenaline Academy website (www.rsadrenalineacademy.com) but there is a caveat on who is eligible to participate in the one-day crash course. According to the site, “anyone who purchased and took delivery of a NEW Ford Focus RS will have one calendar year from the date of delivery to register and attend an RS Adrenaline Academy program.”

Be sure to browse through the site’s FAQ section to learn more about the RS Adrenaline Academy. Ford has yet to reveal the class schedules but has promised to do so sooner than later.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Ford Focus RS Up For Grabs At The Inaugural Forza Racing Championship

This time last year, Ford introduced the Focus RS Forza Motorsport Edition, a special edition version of the popular hot hatch that came with a flashy exterior body wrap that was designed by players of Forza Motorsport. Fast forward one year later and the Focus RS and Forza are once again headlining a news item together after it was announced that the Focus RS would be the top prize for the inaugural ESL Forza Racing Championship.

That’s right. If the $35,900 price for the actual car is a little too steep, gamers can try their luck at competing against a stiff field of top caliber video game racers. That’s what the Forza Racing Championship is offering.

The mechanics are relatively straight-forward, even for those who are not avid Forza racers. As long as the game is available to play, gamers will get the chance to compete in three Forza RC Elite Series Rivals Qualifiers event that will be held over the next three weeks. The top 128 players from any of the three qualifying weeks will move on that week’s series cup where the field will be cut down to the top 16 racers. Those who made the cut will move on to the weekly Elite Series Cup and the winners will make up the top four that will compete in the Grand Finals on September 4. That’s when the battle royal for the Focus RS ensues and whoever wins that race will be handed the keys to a brand spankin’ new 2017 Ford Focus RS.

Those who owned up on the losing end aren’t going home empty-handed either. Sure, they don’t get the Focus RS, but they do get some interesting prizes, including Xbox One S consoles, video game steering wheels from Logitech, and Elite controllers, among others. As an added bonus, everyone who participates in the series will also receive a liveried-out 1973 Ford Escort 1600 to play within the game.

Gamers who don’t think they’re up to stuff to win the Elite Series, they can take their talents to the ForzaRC Open Series League where they can match wits with players of different skill levels for a chance to win in-game content bonuses. It’s not exactly on the same level as a Ford Focus RS, but it’s something that’s still worth a humble brag or two.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Mountune and Ford Performance to Offer Engine Upgrade for Ford Focus RS

Just five years ago, Mountune – a brand that specializes in tuning Focus, Fiesta, and Mustang models – released a sick upgrade for the 2011 Ford Focus RS that brought it up from 300 horsepower to around 345 horsepower. This was enough to make the previous-gen RS the equivalent of the Ford Focus RS500 at the time. Now, Ford Performance and Mountune have dropped a new upgrade package for the new Ford Focus RS and, while it doesn’t bring as much as the upgrade for the 2011 model, it does offer up an extra chunk of power that you want to have if you’re an RS owner – the few of you that have managed to take delivery of your hot hatch, that is.

Surprisingly, there isn’t a lot that goes into the upgrade. To start off, the car gets a new, high-performance air filter, followed by a bespoke alloy crossover duct with silicone hoses, an upgraded air re-circulation valve, and some revised tuning for the engine control unit (ECU.) The power increase is a decent 20 horsepower and 29.5 pound-feet of torque. It’s enough to drop the RS’ 0-to-60 mph sprint from 4.7 seconds to 4.5 seconds. And, as Ford so willingly pointed out, this makes the Focus RS quicker to 60 mph than the Porsche 911 Carrera – a model that costs more than double that of the Focus RS.

Tyrone Johnson, a Vehicle Engineering Manage for Ford Performance, said, “Ford has a proud history of working with Mountune to unleash even more power from our hot hatchbacks for dedicated performance enthusiasts. Boosting power to 375 PS launches the already class-leading Focus RS even further ahead of the field.”

For now, this package is only available in the U.K. where Ford has received upward of 4,600 orders since last September. It can be fitted by any Mountune-appointed dealer in just 1.5 hours and doesn’t void any of the factory warranties – a nice feature that comes along with the partnership between Mountune and Ford Performance. The package will set you back £899, or about $1,175 at current exchange rates. To break it down for you, that comes to about $48.95 per extra pony and $39.83 for each extra pound-foot of gut-wrenching torque.

Keep reading for the rest of the story.


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