Kyle Johnson
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Ford Engineers ‘Waiting for a Solution’ for New Focus RS

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2017 Ford Focus RS Options Pack | New Focus RS may be a hybrid
The previous-generation Ford Focus RS
Photo: Ford Motor Company

Ford really wants the Ford Focus RS to continue on in some new form or fashion — as do most performance enthusiasts. But in order for that to happen, it seems, Ford engineers will need to come up with an elegant solution that will make it compliant with the EU’s strict CO2 rules.

According to Autocar, the reports of Ford tinkering with a new mild hybrid system for the Focus RS were indeed true. The problem, per a senior Ford executive speaking to the magazine, is that “the mild hybrid is not enough” to cut down on CO2 emissions. The path forward for the Focus RS appears to be a full hybrid powertrain, but according to Autocar’s source, that requires the engineers at the blue oval coming up with a new tack, which has turned the process into something of a waiting game.

“We are waiting for our engineering team to come up with a solution on the powertrain and that is not easy given the new fleet CO2 regulations,” the source said.

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All signs seem to point toward a hybrid system based around the 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder that appears in the Euro-spec Ford Kuga and U.S.-sold Ford Escape hybrid. The output is still anticipated to be around 400 horsepower, which would likely require an all-wheel-drive platform. But as the source suggests, the other factor potentially hampering the Focus RS is the escalation of costs as engineers find ways to apply Drift Mode to an AWD hybrid.

The answer may come down to how badly Ford’s engineers want the new Focus RS to become a reality.

“The story of all the previous RSs is of the engineers working on the project in their spare time and weekends and coming up with the ideas and concept. On the new one, we’re still waiting for the right concept, especially on the powertrain,” Autocar’s source said.

Less exciting: the fact that one of the things that may ultimately bring the next-gen Ford Focus RS to fruition is the likelihood that it will only need to meet local standards because it likely won’t come to America. Bummer.

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