The world is currently being turned upside-down due to the COVID-19 virus, with many brands resorting to cost-cutting measures in order to ride out the economic chaos caused by the pandemic. However, that might not even be the final nail in the coffin for the Rallye Sport.
First spotted by Motor1, Ford internal sources have apparently confirmed to French magazine Caradisiac in a Q&A session that the fourth-generation Ford Focus will not be available in RS form, due to the tightening EU emissions regulations.
Over in Europe, carmakers will have to adhere to a new fleet-wide average CO2 emissions regulations of 95 g/km starting next year. For context, the outgoing Ford Focus RS produces 195 g of CO2 per kilometre.
It has been long rumoured that the next-generation Ford Focus RS will be equipped with a 48V mild-hybrid powertrain with an output of over 400 hp – a decision made partly to comply with the new emissions target. However, back in February Autocar UK reported that the “mild hybrid is still not enough”.
In the report, senior Ford executives told Autocar that they are still waiting for a solution from the engineering department to comply by the new ruling. Ford was reportedly looking to create a RS-worthy version of the 2.5-litre plug-in hybrid powertrain used in the Kuga. However, if the report by Caradisiac is accurate, the plans appear to have fallen through, and the project now scrapped completely.
Caradisiac also reported that the RS project might just be too expensive to sustain, especially when the Blue Oval recently instituted a cost-cutting exercise in Europe – including plant closures, job cuts, and even axing unprofitable models such as the Ka+ and Edge.
While it will be incredibly heart-breaking if we do lose one of the old guards of hot hatches, Europeans can at least savour the Ford Focus ST, launched just a year ago, which (judging by the specification sheet) should be quite a warm little hatch too.