The Ford Focus RS has been spotted several times over the past few month, but Ford continued to deny such a car was under development. But with the car nearing production, Ford officially announced its existence, and now more info has surfaced about the production model.

Although the Focus ST has been the range-topping model in Europe since 2005, the new RS will now occupy that spot. Powering the Focus RS will be a Volvo-sourced 2.5L inline-five turbo that produces 280 horsepower and 295 lb-ft or torque.

The RS model is can be identified by its larger front air intakes, larger wheels and rear wing. Unlike first reported, the RS will put its power to the ground via its front wheels, but traction and handling will be aided by a new electronic differential.

The European Ford Focus RS is expected to make its debut at this summer's Paris Motor Show with sales following in 2009. Look for the Focus RS to go head-to-head with the Volkswagen R32, Mitsubishi Evolution X and Subaru Impreza STI.

There is no word if the Focus RS will make it to the U.S.