The new Ford Focus is going to have a front-wheel drive as well as a manual gearbox, according to a company source. The RS super-hatch will be competing with the Mercedes A45 ANg and the Audi RS3 Sportback which are all wheel drives and so it was expected that Ford might decide to do the same thing.
The MK1 and MK2 versions of the Ford Focus did not have just an ordinary front drive set up though. They had limited slip differentials which will help to reduce wheel spin and torque steer and the new Ford Focus RS will be like this as well.
It is likely that the Kuga SUV has donated some of its all-wheel drive components to the new RS. It system allows the torque to be shuffled which means that there is no under steer and so when turning quickly it remains in good balance. The car has no all-paw works underneath though so it can still remain playful at the traction limit.
There will be a manual gearbox because Ford feel their customers prefer this, although they could have put in their powershift gearbox but opted not to. It is felt that it will be likely to have an upgrade of engine but there has been no official confirmation of this. It is possible that 350bhp will be powering the car. This means that it will be more powerful than the BMW M135i and the Vauxhall Astra VXR. The MK2 RS500 has come very close to this with 345bhp in a 2.5 litre turbocharged engine with five cylinder engine and so it seems likely that they could exceed this with the new model.
There will be four pot turbo power on the new RS and it will have the same 2.3 litre motor as the Ford Mustang. It will go on sale very soon, arriving in 2014 to most countries, but probably being released in Europe first.