Rumors coming out of England indicate that the next generation of Ford's performance-oriented Focus RS will pack as much as 350 horsepower, marking a noticeable increase of about 50 ponies over the last-gen model.
Power will reportedly come from the 2.3-liter Ecoboost four-cylinder mill that Ford is currently developing to use in the next-gen Mustang. To help eliminate torque steer, the car will likely be equipped with an electronically-controlled active differential, a unit that is similar in concept to the one that will equip the upcoming seventh-gen Volkswagen GTI.
Len Urwin, the head of Ford's Team RS, told PistonHeads in an interview that fitting the car with an all-wheel drive system is under consideration but it would have to be developed from the ground up because the only all-wheel drive systems that Ford currently has access to are front-biased.
"[The Haldex-designed all-wheel drive system] is inherently an understeering system," said Urwin. "We would need to do something we could make fun to drive."
Furthermore, all-wheel drive would add unwanted pounds to the car's weight and unwanted dollars to its base price.
The Focus RS is expected to make its public debut as a limited-edition model in a year or two. Available only as a five-door hatchback, it will boast a wider track and a rally-inspired body kit.
While Ford has not confirmed this, rumors indicate that the next-gen Focus RS will be available in the United States for the first time in the model's illustrious history.