Will an extra-sharp version of the Focus RS come to NZ? The distributor is keen … but cannot yet commit.
PERHAPS not a full-blown case of performance anxiety, however Ford New Zealand has admitted to hoping to resolve soon whether or not it is in line for an extra-fizz edition of the Focus RS.
Communications and Government Affairs manager Tom Clancy says the Auckland operation has interest in a new limited edition of the brand’s kingpin hot hatch called the … erm, Limited Edition.
But nothing has been resolved.
“If it were up to me …,” he said when asked about the potential for the recently-announced model.
“(but) it’s not confirmed for New Zealand yet.”
The model will undoubtedly be of interest to the country’s small but loyal Focus RS following because it delivers a myriad of revisions set to further enhance its already legendary driving abilities.
The updates bypass the engine bay – though, arguably, that’s hardly a blow. The RS already sets the pace for outright performance anyway, the 2.3-litre turbocharged petrol EcoBoost engine being tuned to produce 257kW and 440Nm, rising to 470Nm on overboost.
Likewise, the six-speed manual and four-wheel-drive system are also untouched.
However, there’s a new Quaife limited-slip front differential for greater traction.
According to Ford, the helical mechanical LSD has been designed to improve traction and cornering, using gears rather than clutches for a smoother operation.
The Limited Edition also stands out with 19-inch alloy wheels shod with 235/35 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres and it takes blue trimmed leather Recaro shell seats – an optional pack on the standard RS.
The special edition comes in one colour – the ‘hero’ hue of Nitrous Blue – and stands out by having the rear spoiler, roof and mirror caps in black.
Ford NZ agrees the derivative’s availability has been enhanced by Ford Australia having secured a shipment of 500 units, which will be landing there from November.
The transtasman operation has determined the model should carry a premium of almost $6500 – if applied to the NZ sticker, that would make it a $91,000 car.
Interestingly, one impetus for our neighbour signing up for the car is because Ford there is wary of the impact of the Honda Civic Type R, which presents with a turbocharged 2.0-litre making 228kW/400Nm and driving through the front wheels. That car is selling for $60k here.
Like the Focus, it has a selectable drive mode though only the Ford is delivered with a bespoke Drift setting.