Back in June, spy shots emerged depicting what seemed to be evidence that a limited-run Ford Focus RS500 was in the works, anticipated by many to build on the titillating performance of the regular RS with more power, less weight, upgraded brake and suspension equipment, and the like.
Alas, according to a new report from the UK’s Autocar, the special Ford Focus RS500 “hyper hatch” seems somewhat less likely now, owing to the difficulty of building a strong business case. The outlet’s sources say that the new model has only a 30-percent chance of reaching production, and the blame doesn’t lie with Europe nearly as much as it does with the US.
The Focus RS500 “could be treading on other cars’ toes,” a source told Autocar, where “other cars” translates roughly to “Mustang.” In Europe, the two models wouldn’t likely clash at all, but the US is a different story. Because of that, Ford reportedly considered releasing a sort of “RS500-lite” for Europe only, but the model’s narrow customer base would have limited the budget and possibly “diluted the RS brand,” nevermind how it would have broken the “One Ford” rule.
Finally, says Autocar, time is an issue, as any Ford Focus RS500 would need to be green-lit, finalized, and introduced prior to the end of the current-generation compact. A brand-new Focus is anticipated for the 2018 model year.