Ford Focus RS won't return as emissions standards end hot hatch

The hot hatch isn't due for a fourth generation as Europe gets serious about emissions standards.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
2 min read
2017 Ford Focus RS

Another one bites the dust.


The Ford Focus RS won't receive a follow-up with the latest-generation Focus after all. Rumors suggested a high-performance hybrid powertrain would spearhead the car's next iteration, but the automaker won't chase such a solution.

Autocar first reported Monday that a new Focus RS is off the table, as the automaker told the publication an electrified powertrain had proven too costly to meet stringent emissions standards in Europe. Ford of Europe told Roadshow, "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 automaker added that it still plans to focus on other performance vehicles like the Focus ST, Fiesta ST and Mustang in Europe.

The Focus RS was a one-hit wonder here in the US where it showed up in its third generation. As the Focus RS rode out its life cycle, Ford declared it would pull out of the passenger car market to focus on crossovers, SUVs and trucks. That meant the end of the Fiesta, Focus, Fusion and along with any performance versions. The Mustang remains the only car Ford sells in the US, though the automaker began expanding its ST performance badge, which resides below the RS badge, to more SUVs.

Ford's Focus RS is a cerulean charmer

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Both the Edge and Explorer offer ST variants to provide some sort of solace to losing cars like the Fiesta ST and Focus ST, albeit at much higher prices.

With the RS' demise, it leaves enthusiasts with one fewer choice among the hot hatch ranks. Such rivals include the Honda Civic Type R, Volkswagen Golf R and Renault Megane RS in Europe.

Watch this: Shootout: BMW M2 vs. Ford Focus RS