In bad news for the many lovers of hot Fords worldwide, the company’s European arm has confirmed that plans to release a new, fourth-generation Focus RS have been halted due to a change in European emissions limits.

Speaking with Autocar, a spokesperson for the company has confirmed that with the European Union lowering the fleet-wide average emissions target for car companies to 95g/km of carbon dioxide (CO2) next year, the cost of developing an electrified RS that would meet these standards is too high to justify, hence the cancellation of the program.

“As a result of pan-European emissions standards, increased CO2 taxation and the high cost of developing an RS with some form of electrification for a relatively low volume of vehicles, we are not planning another RS version of the Focus,” the unnamed Ford spokesperson confirmed.

The 2020 Ford Focus ST will now be the hottest model in the range when it arrives in Australia at some point this year

However, to alleviate any concern that performance-oriented models might start to disappear from Ford’s range, they also noted that, “We remain committed to Ford Performance vehicles in Europe as part of our DNA, with cars like the multi-award-winning Focus ST and Fiesta ST, as well as our Mustang and Ranger Raptor models.”

If the rumour mill was to be believed before now, a new Focus RS was not expected to have materialised until 2022, with reports suggesting that it was originally set to have featured the same 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine as the third-gen model, but this time paired with a 48V mild-hybrid system.

There’s nothing to say that a hybridised Focus RS may not appear at some point in the future, however, if the economics of producing such a car were to work in Ford’s favour, although we’d suggest you don’t hold your breath of that happening.

The current model Focus is currently available in Australia in both hatch and wagon guises, with the only true performance-oriented variant being the ST hatch, which is set to hit our shores at some point this year priced from $44,690 before on-road costs. The regular Focus range, which saw recent price rises across the board, starts at $25,990.

Patrick Jackson
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