Is a Meaner, Greener Ford Focus RS on the Way?

The Dutch seem to think so.

After bowing out of the North American market following a limited-edition run of 2018 models, Ford Focus RS production is expected to wrap up in April. The final versions see a special tune, adding an extra 20 horsepower to the grippy hatch’s already healthy 350 hp rating. Officially, there’s been no word on a replacement.

Unofficially, how does 400 hp sound?

That’s what Dutch publication Auto International claims we can expect from the next-generation Focus RS, due out in 2020. The rumored release date places a model year between it and the next-gen Focus, which debuts this spring as a 2019 model.

Taking credit for some of the 2.3-liter EcoBoost’s newfound power is a 48-volt mild hybrid system. Allegedly, the system employs a starter motor capable of adding 25 hp and 44 lb-ft to the rig’s output, aiding acceleration and fuel economy. While extra power is nice, it’s the latter virtue Ford needs most. European emission regulations demand it.

Supposedly, this electrically assisted EcoBoost propels the car to 100 km/h (62 mph) in four seconds flat, some seven-tenths of a second quicker than the previous-gen model. A six-speed manual remains the go-to transmission, though Auto International claims a dual-clutch automatic in the works for American and Chinese customers. (Is nothing pure anymore?)

Ford going big on electrification, so there’s no reason to think it wouldn’t use the technology for Focus RS power gains. Should the rumors pan out, we’ll see the mild-hybrid FoRS sharing showroom space with a hybrid Mustang and F-150.

this article first appeared on thetruthaboutcars.com

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