Although the 2016 Ford Focus RS debuted last March in Geneva, the reveal came with sketchy tech details. This week, Ford released a full download on performance as well as pricing for the hottest member of the Focus family -- and the first Focus RS model to come to America.

While the initial output quoted for its specially tuned 2.3-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder was a nebulous "in excess of 315 horsepower", Ford announced that the engine in its fastest-ever Focus RS will make 350 horsepower in U.S. trim and also develop 350 lb-ft of torque. Backed by the previously announced 6-speed manual transmission with Launch Control and a new Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring setup, this EcoBoost variant can send the boldly styled Focus RS streaking from 0-62 mph in just 4.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 165 mph. 

AWD with four dynamic handling modes

Fully integrated with advanced stability system that includes brake-based Torque Vectoring, this first application of Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive in the new Focus RS relies on a pair of electronically controlled clutch packs to manage front/rear torque split and also can control left/right torque distribution on its rear axle to further optimize handling and cornering stability. Drivers will be able to choose from four dynamic modes -- Normal/Sport/Track/Drift -- that further configure the car's AWD, shock settings, electronic stability control, steering and engine mapping as well the sound of its exhaust. According to Ford, the All-Wheel Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring virtually eliminates understeer giving the Focus RS more than 1.0g of lateral grip. 

Also: Class of 2016 -- New Cars Ready to Roll 

Co-developed by a Ford Performance engineering team in Europe and the U.S., the 2016 Ford Focus RS will be built in Saarlouis, Germany. The car will start at $36,605 -- a figure that parks it almost squarely atop its chief rival, the Volkswagen Golf R -- and is slated to appear in showrooms here next spring. Options for the new RS include a power moonroof, navigation, 19-inch forged-alloy wheels with or without Michelin Pilot Cup Sport 2 tires and full leather Recaro sport seats. Although available in the Euro market since 2002 and remade in 2009, Dave Pericak, director, Ford Performance notes: "The all-new Focus RS will bring the legendary nameplate to a new generation of global customers for the first time." Pericak also reiterated Ford's commitment to launch a dozen new enthusiast-grade vehicles between now and 2020. 

Check out our Compact Car Buyer's Guide for a look at what's new and what's next.


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