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New Ford Focus RS 2021 detailed: Hot hatch to get electric boost via hybrid powertrain?

The current-generation Focus RS sends turbo-petrol power to all four wheels, but its predecessor won’t.

Fresh from revealing its first all-electric vehicle, the controversially named Mustang Mach-E, Ford is reportedly preparing to electrify another one of its famous performance models, the Focus RS hot hatch.

According to CAR Magazine, while the next-generation Focus RS will keep its predecessor’s 2.3-litre Ecoboost turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine, Ford is planning to give it a literal twist.

Unlike the current Focus RS which has a Twinster all-wheel-drive system, the new model’s engine will only send power to its front axle.

But fear not; the Focus RS isn’t becoming just another front-wheel-drive hot hatch, as its rear axle will be exclusively powered by an electric motor.

Indeed, this a new take on AWD traction supplied to Ford by the same company that provided the Twinster set-up for the existing Focus RS, GKN Automotive.

No surprises, then, that the latest system is called e-Twinster, but what are its advantages? Aside from improved traction (partly via torque vectoring), bank on a handling masterclass.

All in all, expect the next Focus RS to punch out about 298kW of peak power – a 41kW improvement not far off the 310kW produced by the current king of hot hatches, the Mercedes-AMG A45 S.

Speaking of which, CAR Magazine reckons the current Focus RS’ divisive Drift Mode might live to see another day in the new model thanks to its e-Twinster system, allowing it better compete with the equally tail-happy but very much AWD A45 S.

Either way, look forward to the next-generation Focus RS being revealed sometime next year.