Limited to just 1,500 units in the U.S. and Canada, the entire crop of cars destined for North America will include a factory-fitted mechanical LSD up front to reduce wheel spin and improve cornering performance. Supplied by Quaife, the LSD will complement what is already a stellar drivetrain that includes a performance-tuned all-wheel drive system and active torque vectoring.
The decision to fit the Focus RS with a limited-slip differential comes following feedback online, with the automaker claiming its team scoured owner forums and enthusiast websites before honing in on the in-demand feature.
“Our new limited-edition Focus RS represents accessible performance at its finest,” Ford Performance chief engineer Jamal Hameedi said in a statement. “Improving on the thrilling driving dynamics of the Focus RS is no small task — but our Ford Performance engineers have delivered a drivetrain capable of wringing every drop of performance from the engine.”
The North American-exclusive version of the Focus RS also gets a handful of aesthetic upgrades, including carbon-fiber finishers around the boost gauge, handbrake and door handles. It also comes fitted with the RS2 package, which includes leather and suede-trimmed Recaro seats that are heated up front, a heated steering wheel, and voice-activated navigation. (The RS2 pack was previously counted as standard equipment on Canadian cars.)
Outside, the roof, mirror caps and rear spoiler are finished in gloss black, the latter of which features blue RS logos on the side wings, while the special 19-inch painted forged alloy wheels feature blue RS center caps. The 2018 version of the car comes finished in the choice of Nitrous Blue or Race Red.
Powered by a turbocharged 2.3-liter engine, the Focus RS is good for 350 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. With that output heading to the pavement through all four wheels, the Focus RS can sprint from a standstill to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. (Zero to 100 km/h takes 4.7 seconds.)
An ode to the current-generation Focus RS, which will go out of production following the 2018 model year, the special edition will be limited to 1,000 units in the U.S. and another 500 in Canada. Pricing will be announced at a later date. Ford expects to begin taking orders this summer, with deliveries taking place later in 2017.