The first all-new Focus RS has rolled off the production line in Saarlouis, Germany, signaling an increasing demand for performance cars across Europe, says Ford.
The carmaker expects to produce 41,000 performance cars for Europe in 2016, up from 29,000 in 2015, representing an increase of 40 per cent.
The all-new Focus RS is among the models driving demand, along with the Mustang, for which Ford has taken more than 13,000 orders in Europe (2,650 in the UK), and the hot hatch ST versions of the Focus and Fiesta.
The Focus RS is one of 12 new performance vehicles Ford will bring to customers globally through 2020. Developed by a team of engineers in Europe and the US, it's powered by a special version of Ford's new 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine delivering maximum power of 350PS. This will enable the high-performance hatchback to get from 062 mph in 4.7sec, making it the fastest accelerating Ford RS model ever.
Since prices were announced in September, customers have placed more than 3,100 orders (2,300 of these in Britain).
"This will be a truly remarkable year for Ford performance cars, with unprecedented performance capability, as well as sophisticated powertrain and chassis technologies including the new Ford Performance All Wheel Drive system for Focus RS," said Joe Bakaj, vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe.