Audi RS3 – American Launch Details

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Available for the first time in the U.S., the 2018 Audi RS 3 will make its North American debut at the New York International Auto Show.

As the first compact Audi sedan to wear the RS badge, the RS 3 delivers unrivaled performance in its segment, coupled with a high level of everyday functionality. Specifically developed for the US market, the RS 3 is equipped with the storied Audi five-cylinder engine which produces its unique sound and features RS-specific interior and exterior design details, offering customers an attractive entry point into the Audi Sport lineup.

Powertrain and Performance

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The RS 3 features the all-new 2.5L TFSI® engine paired with a seven-speed S tronic® dual clutch transmission. Producing 400 hp, the five-cylinder engine has a total displacement of 2.5 liters which equates to 160 hp per liter. The maximum torque of 354 lb-ft is available at engine speeds as low as 1,700 rpm and remains constant up to 5,850 rpm. As a result, the RS 3 can sprint from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds and a top track speed of 155 mph, or increased to 174 mph with the optional Dynamic plus package.

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Ford Focus RS – Drift Mode Video

Finally getting a few more details about the much anticipated (at least by me) Ford Focus RS, including the press release today that the first one has rolled off the assembly line and they’re targeted for an early spring launch in the US. That’s all well and good, but what we all really want to see is Drift Mode in action, and those kind folks at Ford have obliged.

 

UPDATE: Reviews have started to come in and they’re looking good – here’s Evo’s take http://www.evo.co.uk/ford/focus-rs

2016 Ford Focus RS – US Pricing and More

Ford Focus RS

Finally Ford came through with pricing, and although not quite as competitive as it went in the UK (where the base price came in at 2000 UK pounds below the Golf R), it’s still good – $36,605. It also release official performance figures and a bunch of other stuff, so here goes.

Ford Motor Company’s all-new Focus RS will sprint from 0-62 mph in 4.7 seconds – making the high-performance hatchback the fastest-accelerating RS model yet.

Focus RS – powered by a specially engineered version of Ford’s new 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine producing projected 350 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque – will reach a top speed of 165 mph.

For North America, Focus RS pricing will start at $36,605.

The all-new 2016 Focus RS optimizes acceleration by introducing launch control technology to a Ford RS model for the first time. Focus RS also debuts new Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring – for outstanding traction and grip with dynamic agility and cornering speed.

“The all-new Focus RS will bring the legendary nameplate to a new generation of global customers for the first time,” said Dave Pericak, director, Ford Performance. “Focus RS delivers stunning performance and innovative technology at a price that will make both enthusiast consumers and premium automakers look twice.”

Focus RS launch control configures the car’s chassis and powertrain systems to deliver the fastest possible acceleration – in various track conditions. The driver selects launch control from the cluster menu, engages first gear, applies full throttle and releases the clutch. The system then delivers optimum drive – including distributing torque through the all-wheel-drive system, maintaining maximum torque using the turbo overboost function, managing traction control and setting the dampers.

To achieve maximum acceleration through the gears, a performance shift light in the instrument cluster alerts the driver when approaching the optimum upshift point of 5,900 rpm, and flashes if the engine hits the 6,800-rpm limit.

Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive uses twin electronically controlled clutch packs to manage the car’s front/rear torque split, and can control side-to-side torque distribution on the rear axle – delivering the torque vectoring capability that produces a dramatic impact on handling and cornering stability.

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Seat Porn

Ford Focus RS Seats

I have this thing about seats – not just any seats, but the race/rally seats you can occasionally spec in a production car. The latest ones to tickle my fancy are these beauties from Ford, destined for the new Focus RS they announced recently. Not sure if it’s just the more subtle color this time, or what, but I’m a little obsessed…

Ford Focus RS

Ford Focus RS Blue

The day has finally arrived when Ford release details of their new super-hot hatch, and the rumors were true – all-wheel drive, over 300 bhp, manual/stick and it’s coming to the USA!!!! I think I’m too excited to slice and dice the juicy bits from the press release so I’ll just post it all below for you to read through.

  • Third-generation Ford Focus RS will be available in major markets around the world and for the first time in the United States; Focus RS follows the reveal last month of the new Ford GT supercar – a new era of Ford performance that will deliver 12 new vehicles by 2020
  • All-new Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control paired with a powerful 2.3-liter EcoBoost® four-cylinder engine will provide impressive performance
  • Aggressive, functional design inside and out makes Focus RS the most powerful production Focus ever, with highly capable performance on both road and track
  • Professional rally driver and star of Gymkhana films Ken Block teamed with Ford as a consultant on development of Focus RS

Ford Focus Front

Ford today revealed the all-new Focus RS, a high-performance road car that debuts Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control, which contributes to performance never before seen in a Focus RS. The all-new Focus RS is equipped with a new 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine producing well in excess of 315 horsepower.

Focus RS is the latest unveiling in a new era of Ford performance that will bring more than 12 performance vehicles to global customers by 2020.

In addition to pleasing enthusiasts, these vehicles help deliver the company’s One Ford plan for profitable growth, product excellence and innovation in every part of its business.

“The all-new Focus RS is a serious machine with high-performance technology and innovative engineering that sets a new benchmark for driving exhilaration on the road and track,” said Raj Nair, group vice president, Global Product Development, Ford Motor Company. “The RS line has a proud history of technical breakthroughs that have migrated to mainstream Ford vehicles to benefit all of our customers, and the new Focus RS is no exception. It’s a great example of our passion for innovation through performance, and creating vehicles that make people’s hearts pound.”

Developed by a small team of global Ford Performance engineers, the new Focus RS is the third generation in the line, following models launched in 2002 and 2009. It will be the 30th car to wear the legendary RS badge, following such technology trendsetters as the 1970 Escort RS1600 with 16 valves, 1985 Sierra RS Cosworth with turbocharging and radical aerodynamics and 1992 Escort RS Cosworth with four-wheel drive.

Sporting a dramatic exterior design that delivers enhanced aerodynamics and cooling, the new Focus RS offers technologies new to the RS line including Ford SYNC® connectivity system.

Ford Focus Rear

The all-new Focus RS is the first-ever RS model that will be sold around the world, including the United States, and produced for all markets at Ford’s Saarlouis, Germany, manufacturing plant beginning late this year.

“We are acutely aware of the benchmarks we have set ourselves with RS performance models through the years, and rest assured this new car raises the game to a new level,” said Jim Farley, president, Ford of Europe, Middle East and Africa.

“Just as important is the fact that with technologies such as EcoBoost, we are able to demonstrate how an innovation that powers almost every car in our range can also be the heartbeat of our finest performance cars,” added Farley.

Gymkhana and World Rallycross star Ken Block was brought on as a consultant on the all-new Focus RS, and joined the Ford Performance team at the preview event in Cologne, Germany –where the RS legend was born with the Ford 15M RS in 1968.

Innovative Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive offers a new level of handling
The all-new Focus RS exploits innovative new Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring to deliver a new level of handling capability and driver enjoyment, combining outstanding traction and grip with exciting agility and cornering speed.

The Ford Performance All-Wheel-Drive system is based on twin electronically controlled clutch packs on each side of the rear drive unit. These manage the car’s front/rear torque split, and can control the side-to-side torque distribution on the rear axle – delivering the “torque vectoring” capability that has a dramatic impact on handling and cornering stability.

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The control unit in the rear drive unit continuously varies the front/rear and side-to-side torque distribution to suit the current driving situation, monitoring inputs from multiple vehicle sensors 100 times per second. A maximum of 70 percent of the drive torque can be diverted to the rear axle. Up to 100 percent of available torque at the rear axle can be sent to each rear wheel.

During cornering, the rear drive unit pre-emptively diverts torque to the outer rear wheel immediately based on inputs such as steering wheel angle, lateral acceleration, yaw and speed. This torque transfer has the effect of “driving” the car into the bend, achieving improved turn-in and stability, and virtually eliminating understeer.

The AWD system has been tuned to deliver exceptional grip – with lateral acceleration exceeding 1 g – and great cornering speed and acceleration out of a bend. With neutral and adjustable limit handling, and the ability to achieve controlled oversteer drifts at the track, Focus RS delivers an exceptional fun-to-drive experience.

To deliver optimum driving dynamics, the Ford Performance All-Wheel-Drive system was calibrated alongside the car’s advanced Electronic Stability Control, in particular the brake-based Torque Vectoring Control system that works in parallel with the torque-vectoring AWD. Other exclusive chassis features include sports suspension with spring rates, bushings and antiroll bars – all of which are stiffer than those found in Focus ST, and two-mode switchable dampers, which offer a firmer setting for track driving. A carefully tuned electric power-assisted steering system working in combination with a more rigid front suspension knuckle design and shorter-link arms delivers connected and responsive steering with outstanding feel.

“The Focus ST and Fiesta ST showed that we can achieve sporty steering feel with an electric power-assisted steering system, and the RS raises the bar,” said Dave Pericak, director, Global Ford Performance. “We set out to provide drivers with steering that is very direct, precise and well balanced – and the RS delivers.”

Ford engineers worked closely with Michelin to develop a choice of high-performance 235/35 R19 tires to complement the driving dynamics of the Focus RS: a standard Pilot Super Sport tire for every-day use, and – for the first time on an RS – an optional Pilot Sport Cup 2 tire for enhanced vehicle dynamics on the track.

The vehicle’s exterior design has also been developed to support the dynamic objectives. Careful aerodynamic optimization of the front splitter, rear spoiler and underbody features eliminates lift forces, and the final design delivers balanced performance with zero lift front and rear for optimum high-speed handling and stability.

Ford Focus RS

Unique powertrain for increased output
Ford’s EcoBoost technology powers Focus RS and nearly every new Ford vehicle. The specially engineered 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine has levels of power and torque that translate into impressive acceleration when combined with the exceptional all-wheel-drive traction.

Projected to produce well in excess of 315 horsepower, the custom unit shares its fundamental structure with the all-aluminum 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine in the all-new Mustang, but has been significantly upgraded through a comprehensive package of design changes.

Increased output is generated by a new low-inertia twin-scroll turbocharger with larger compressor that delivers significantly greater airflow, along with a much bigger intercooler to maximize charge density. Engine breathing is enhanced through a less restrictive intake design, and a large-bore high-performance exhaust system with an electronically controlled valve in the tailpipe that helps optimize the balance of back pressure and noise output.

The cylinder head is produced from an upgraded alloy material capable of withstanding higher temperatures, and is mounted on a more robust head gasket with improved thermal capability. The cylinder block employs stronger high-tensile cast iron liners.

Engine cooling also has been given the highest priority, with engineers creating additional space within the front of the vehicle to house a significantly larger radiator pack that provides the level of cooling demanded for hard circuit use.

Meticulous calibration work ensures that the power unit delivers excellent low-end responsiveness with a powerful mid-range pull, climbing to a free-revving top end up to a maximum rev limit of 6,800 rpm.

The six-speed manual transmission has been optimized for the enthusiast driver with a shorter gear lever to deliver faster and more accurate shifts. Both the transmission and the clutch have been upgraded with stronger components to cope with the engine’s increased torque output.

With its high-efficiency EcoBoost design featuring direct fuel injection, twin independent variable camshaft timing, advanced turbocharging and Auto Start-Stop as standard, the engine also delivers significantly improved fuel consumption.

focus rs interior

High-performance design for stunning looks with optimum function
Focus RS exterior design is both dramatic and functional, with a more powerful and muscular character. Designers worked closely with Ford Performance to ensure that the necessary functional attributes were achieved, focusing on the aerodynamic downforce and balance delivered by the design, as well as the cooling demands of the powertrain and brakes.

RS features a powerful new front end appearance with a bold upper trapezoidal grille above the deep splitter, incorporating the largest possible apertures for engine cooling. A wide, muscular stance is emphasized by the lower wings and large outboard openings on each side of the car, which feed the brake cooling ducts and house vertically mounted lamps.

At the rear, the fascia panel is dominated by the exceptionally large diffuser, which optimizes airflow from under the vehicle and contains the twin round high-performance exhaust outlets. Focus RS for Europe and Asia markets will also get a clear central fog lamp. The distinctive rear roof spoiler is carefully integrated with the car’s silhouette through body-colored side panels featuring a subtle embossed RS logo.

The dynamic side profile is emphasized by sculptured rocker panels, and the bold wheel lips that house a choice of multi-spoke 19-inch RS alloy wheels – including a high-performance lightweight forged design finished in low-gloss black, which offers enhanced strength and impact resistance.

The high-performance character of Focus RS is reflected inside the car, where heavily bolstered partial-leather Recaro sports seats serve as the centerpiece of the cockpit.

The interior features the reworked Focus control layout with its simpler, more intuitive design. SYNC connectivity provides access to audio, navigation, climate control and mobile phones via voice control, and via a high-definition, 8-inch color touch screen. SYNC can be specified with rear view camera with park distance control, as well as a Sony premium sound system with 10-speakers including a subwoofer.

The RS driving experience is reinforced by a new flat-bottomed steering wheel with a soft-feel leather-covered rim, alloy pedals and unique instrument graphics within the main cluster. An additional bank of gauges above the center console displays turbocharger boost pressure, oil temperature and oil pressure.

Four striking exterior colors include Nitrous Blue, a vibrant four-coat metallic finish exclusive to RS, as well as Stealth Gray, Absolute Black and Frozen White. The car revealed in Cologne features the same special Liquid Blue color scheme first seen on the all-new Ford GT revealed last month at the North American International Auto Show.

Ford Focus RS – Teaser Video

All the details get released on February 3rd, but until then here’s some slip sliding around in the new car courtesy of Mr Ken Block (and does this mean it really is 4-wheel drive? opinions are mixed but if it can slide like that with just front wheel drive then holy moly. Either way, I’m excited, but 4-wheel drive might just get me tempted to get the wallet out)

Ford Focus RS Coming to the US

Ford Performance LogoFord will deliver more than 12 new performance vehicles for global enthusiasts through 2020, as the company announced today its new global Ford Performance team.

The vehicles include an all-new Focus RS that will be available to customers in major markets around the world for the first time. It is part of Ford’s plan to deliver even more performance vehicles, parts and accessories for customers around the world more quickly.

“Ford remains committed to innovation through performance,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “Our new global Ford Performance team ties together racing, performance vehicles and parts. It will allow us to more quickly introduce products and accessories that meet the needs of customers around the world on-road and on the track.”

Focus RS, which builds on a pedigree of driving excellence dating to the first Ford RS in 1968, was last introduced in 2009. That time around it wasn’t available in the US, but that looks to be changing with the worldwide focus on major markets. Lets hope it’s as good as the Fiesta ST and everyone will be very happy.

Audi RS7

2014-Audi-RS7-beauty-exterior-04I’ve always thought the Audi A7 was one of the prettiest cars in the new larger coupe/sedan mix segment (sure there’s some fancy name for these cars that isn’t “hatchback” so people in the US will still look at and possibly but them). And now the RS7 is released, it adds an extra bit of drama to the visuals that makes this thing stunning. So stunning in fact that I just spent about 20 minutes messing around with the configurator, trying to work out if I preferred the dark grey metallic or the white more (both obviously with the 20 21 inch optional wheels).

2014-Audi-RS7-beauty-interior-02It’s an Audi, so by default the interior is going to be among the best, but there’s something about those seats, even without taking into account they’re AC’d and will massage away your troubles on the commute home. I was all set to search the back of the couch for any spare pennies to get my deposit down when I saw the price – “starting at $105,400”. I’m sure it’s worth it, especially given it’ll do the 0-60 in 3.7 seconds, and has 560 bhp to play with, but then you also realize they’ve released the A7 Turbo Diesel with a 0-60 time of 5.5 seconds and 428 lb-ft of torques that gets 38 mpg on the highway! And starting at $66,900, it could be the best option.

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Audi RS7

2013 RS 7 FrontAudi announced last week that it’s building the latest in the RS series – the RS 7 Sportback. Not wanting to come to the party without plenty of power, they’ve given it a twin-turbo0charged 4.0 litre engine pushing out 560 bhp, allowing the 5 door coupe (if that’s really a thing) a 0-62 time of 3.9 seconds. They’ll even allow you to ask for the speed governor to be taken off so you can hit the top speed of 189.52 mph (the germans like to be precise with their stats…). One of the most impressive stats is the 553 lb-ft og torque is available all the way from 1750 to 5500 rpm – I’d say that’s big and flat. 2013 RS 7 - Rear Standard quattro 4-wheel drive pushing power in a 60/40 rear biased standard config, along with their torque vectoring technology first seen on the S4 is designed to limit the understeer and keep things interesting in the handling department. And in the ever increasing game of one-upmanship, 20 inch allows are standard, but you can have 21 inch straight from the factory by checking the right option box when you make your purchase.

2013 RS7 InteriorI’m a sucker for good interiors, and the RS cars from Audi are always up there at the top of the list. Two main reasons for this – the flat bottomed steering wheels are always gorgeous, and the massively bolstered Recaro seats they put in these things to keep you sitting nice and still round the corners. The RS7 has both, so I’m a happy boy.

Audi RS6 – The Uber Wagon Returns

Apart from looking ridiculously fantastic while carrying the kids and their accessories (and believe me, they have plenty of accessories), the ultimate 6 from Audi follows tradition with 4 wheel drive to help the drifting in the snow. And helping with the play is 560 bhp and 516 lb-ft of torque from less than 2,000 rpm. Audi has a reputation for their interior design and from the looks of these official pictures, they won’t disappoint with this model. The traditional flat bottomed steering wheel for the RS model is there, and those seats are looking pretty spectacular to me. As is the case with all new cars these days it seems, there’s no real gearbox, but an 8-speed tiptronic will help you hit 62 mph (or 100kmh if you prefer) in 3.9 seconds, which isn’t bad for the family wagon. This might be making it onto my Santa list in the near future, but release date is scheduled for March at the Geneva Motor Show and there’s no official word if it’s actually going to make it to the US shores yet (but we’re all hoping…)