I wanted to get all of the embedding and linkage out of the way first, as there is a lot of reference material, and I don’t even have reference info from Motor Trend or Automobile.
My thoughts? These are speculation articles, but R&T does have some communication from Ford regarding this car.
Is it a threat to existing cars of it’s genre? It’s too early to tell, but there’s a void to be filled (the Mitsubishi Evolution X). The playing field is being redefined, as well, because the upcoming Golf R is supposed to be a stellar offering and may well surpass the Subaru WRX STI in performance (or at least make Subaru concerned).
The early planning of the Focus RS dictated that the car would be front-wheel-drive. That has changed as of yesterday. It is definitive that the car will be AWD. We do not yet know how much HP the 2.3L turbocharged 4-cylinder will produce, but speculation is between 300-350 HP. We also do not know if the car will be definitively sold in the US, although the articles state that there’s a strong possibility. We also don’t know it’s proposed pricing, although a car that is designed to compete with the Golf R and/or Subaru STI will probably be similarly priced as those two cars. Word is, the Focus RS will also be a limited production vehicle, which may warrant a premium price (I’m not sure on this, but its worth mentioning). Will the car be a 4 door hatch? More than likely, if Ford wants to compete well with the other cars of this genre.
Other questions: Will the car have good value retainment? STIs hold their value extremely well. I can’t speak for Golf R owners (the Mk 7 isn’t yet released to the US public). Will the car be reliable? Will the car be expensive to maintain? It may be good to ask a Focus ST owner those two questions, since the RS will be new to the US.What of modifying the RS? Does Ford condone modifying Focus STs as far as warranty is concerned? Are the cars difficult to modify? Is the aftermarket as vast as Subaru’s? If anyone has answers to those questions, please comment!