Ford axes popular performance car
Ford has announced it is at the end of the line for one of its most potent performance cars.
The Blue Oval has revealed that it will not build a fourth-generation Focus RS.
The all-wheel drive Focus RS was one of the most powerful hot hatches on the market with its 2.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 257kW and 440Nm.
And its circa-$50,000 price tag made it one of the best bang-for-your-buck cars on the road. Eye-opening features included drift mode and launch control.
But now Ford has confirmed to UK publication Autocar that it won't build a new version because of increasingly stringent European emissions standards.
Ford has previously said that the next Focus RS needed to have a plug-in hybrid set-up to have the necessary power and to fit under the emissions restrictions.
Europe is Ford's biggest market for the Focus after the Blue Oval stopped selling passenger cars in the US to concentrate on SUVs, utes and the Mustang sports car.
A Ford spokesman told Autocar: "As a result of pan-European emissions standards, increased CO2 taxation and the high cost of developing an RS with some form of electrification for a relatively low volume of vehicles, we are not planning another RS version of the Focus."
Ford now has no all-wheel drive performance car to compete with the Volkswagen Golf R.
The Focus RS's departure leaves the Focus ST at the top of Ford's hot hatch totem pole.
The feisty ST front-wheel drive hot hatch employs a 2.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine delivering 206kW and 420Nm, a sizeable jump of 22kW/60Nm on the previous iteration.
The $44,490 (before on-road costs) ST was due to land in Australian showrooms early this year, but the current COVID-19 pandemic could delay its launch.
Ford recently launched the new pint-sized Fiesta ST in Australia. It is priced from about $36,000 drive-away and benefits from a cracking little 1.5-litre turbo engine making 147kW and 290Nm.
Originally published as Ford axes popular performance car