Reported back in 2018 as heading the hybrid route, a new report from the United Kingdom has revealed that electrical assistance could in fact be the only solution for Ford to keep the Focus RS within its product line-up in response to new European emissions regulations.
While motor1.com reported that the next RS will sport a mild-hybrid powertrain with a claimed output of 298 kW two years ago, an unnamed Ford executive has told Britain’s Autocar that a full hybrid configuration presents the only option for the Blue Oval’s halo Focus to adhere to the new 95g/km fleet average set to be introduced next year.
“The mild hybrid is not enough. We are waiting for our engineering team to come up with a solution on the powertrain and that is not easy given the new fleet CO2 regulations,” the official was quoted by the publication as saying.
The requirements has also put renewed speculation on the actual powertrain, which the publication reports could consist out of a turbocharged 221 kW version of the new Kuga’s 2.5-litre petrol engine instead of the previously reported 2.0-litre, mated to 74 kW electric motor that will provide the combined 298 kW output.
In addition, while the layout will still result in the Focus RS being four-wheel-drive, the six-speed manual looks set to be dropped for a CVT used in the Kuga, with another issue being the actual development costs of the system and whether the RS will continue to be offered with its trademark Drift mode.
“The story of all the previous RSs is of the engineers working on the project in their spare time and weekends and coming up with the ideas and concept. On the new one, we’re still waiting for the right concept, especially on the powertrain,” the Ford executive continued.
While it was initially forecasted that the RS would become available this year, Autocar reports that the launch date has been delayed to possibly 2022 or 2023.