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Ford to end Focus RS production in April

It's the end of the line for the Focus RS.

Ford has announced that it will end production of its high-performance Focus RS hot hatch on April 6. Ford will send off the Focus RS with a limited edition model.

Though available in other world markets for some time, the Focus RS only landed in the United States two years ago. The Focus RS' 350 horsepower engine, all-wheel drive and six-speed manual quickly earned it darling status among automotive enthusiast.

But, alas, all good things must come to an end, and for the Focus RS that date has been set for April 6. That's when the last Focus RS will roll out of Ford's factory in Saarlouis, Germany.

In order to mark the occasion, Ford is launching a limited edition Focus RS Heritage Edition model. Ford will build just 50 units of the limited edition model, all of which will wear a unique orange paint color. All 50 examples will also receive Montune performance parts that will increase output of the Focus RS' 2.3L engine to 370 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque. Unfortunately, all 50 examples are destined for the UK market.

"The RS brand is hugely important to Ford and is recognized across the globe, however it has a special place in the hearts of UK Ford fans," said Andy Barratt, chairman and managing director, Ford of Britain. "This latest model is the best RS we've ever produced, so it seems a fitting tribute as we approach its 50th anniversary."

It remains to be seen if the Focus RS will ever return to U.S. showrooms. The Focus nameplate is going on a one year sabbatical, after which time it will be imported from China. Given slumping demand for small car models like the Focus, Ford could choose to invest its money in SUVs rather than a followup RS variant.