FORD'S performance car onslaught continues with the new LZ Focus RS confirmed to arrive by the middle of 2016, priced at $50,990.
The 257kW/440Nm Focus RS will be Ford's sixth new performance vehicle in two years, building on the company's $300million local R&D work this year alone.
The new Focus RS will feature a specially tuned 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine mated to a new Ford Performance all-wheel-drive system with dynamic torque vectoring and selectable drive modes.
"The Focus RS is the latest example of our expanded performance line-up in Australia and showcase of the Ford Performance team's ambitious spirit that is a halo of our innovation locally and across the company," said Ford president and CEO, Graeme Whickman.
"It delivers refined power, a high level of technology, advanced Ford Performance all-wheel drive and uncompromised driving dynamics that is true to the spirit of the RS nameplate."
The Focus RS will sit as the halo model in Ford's performance hatch range, above the impressively capable and great fun Fiesta ST and Focus ST offerings.
The other performance cars in Ford's stable for now are the Falcon XR6 and Falcon XR8, and then there's the small matter of the soon-to-arrive Mustang GT.
Ford said the Focus RS would be pitched in the high-performance hatch segment, boasting 51kW more than the superb VW Golf R, and 26kW more power than the ever-popular Subaru WRX STi.
The Blue Oval boys also made a point of highlighting the Focus RS's cheaper purchase price over the Golf R and Renault Megane RS 275 Cup Premium rivals.
One thing's for sure, Australians are being spoilt for choice with such brilliantly capable offerings in this affordable high-performance segment.
On the styling front, the new Focus RS has a new fascia and grille with inlets for engine and brake cooling; new rear fascia with large diffuse and twin exhaust outlets; spoilers front and rear and unique 19-inch multi-spoke RS alloy wheels.
Cabins score RS-branded Recaro seats, flat-based steering wheel, alloy foot pedals and distinctive blue RS stitching and badges.
Colour choices are White, Magnetic and Shadow Black, and just to make we Aussies feel special, we get our own Nitrous feature colour (blue, as in the photos), just for our market.