Without revealing its sources, another outlet – the UK’s Autocar – has reported that the next Ford Focus RS hot hatch will feature a mild-hybrid powertrain, capable of producing up to 400 brake-horsepower and 425 lb-ft of torque. This follows Dutch outlet Auto Internationaal‘s report in late-February in which it alleged essentially the same thing: that the RS-badged version of the forthcoming fourth-generation Focus would use a 48-volt starter-generator system to supplement the torque from the turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost I4 and boost total output.
The Mk IV Ford Focus RS is thus expected to count among the 40 new electrified vehicles Ford says it will bring out over the next few years. It’s safe to say that performance will be the primary goal of the hot hatch’s hybrid system, but the electrification of the powertrain ought to lend it some extra efficiency and lower emissions, regardless.
Accommodating an extra, 48-volt battery for the hybrid system could pose a bit of a challenge in the next Ford Focus RS, which is expected to employ an all-wheel-drive system similar to the one on the Mk III, meaning it might have a similarly bulky RDU (rear drive unit) at the back axle. Curb weight will be another concern, both because of the added hybrid equipment, and because the new Focus RS is expected to debut a new dual-clutch automatic gearbox. The all-new Ford Focus is expected to shed around 50 kg (110 pounds) depending on trim, but all of that weight savings might well be eaten up by the new equipment.
For owners, however, the benefits will likely far exceed the costs. Autocar suspects the Mk IV Focus RS will make some Mountune enhancements standard on the 2.3-liter EcoBoost, meaning the engine itself could produce around 370 bhp and 376 lb-ft. The electric motor is expected to add about another 30 horsepower and 50 lb-ft at best, and should help puff up the torque curve in the lower portion of the rpm range.
Given its extra equipment and performance, the next Ford Focus RS might handily exceed a base MSRP of $40k at launch.