AWD Ford Focus RS to be first car in North America with factory winter tire package – MLive.com

Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2016

DETROIT, MI – Ford Motor Co. said Wednesday its all-wheel-drive Focus RS will be the first car in North America to offer a winter tire package as a factory option from an original equipment manufacturer.

Available only for order on this continent, the package comes standard in Canada and is otherwise available for order as a $1,995 option in the U.S.

The package includes 225/40R18 Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 tires mounted to 18×7.5-inch wheels. The overall diameter of the tire is smaller in order to fit chains on the wheels, if necessary.

Ford said it tested the tires in Northern Michigan and Sweden.

“We started this project knowing what our RS customers really want out of their cars,” Adam Wirth, chassis supervisor for Ford Performance, said in a release. “This tire package allows RS owners to continue spirited driving even in the snow.”

The Ford Focus RS is a car made for people who enjoy feeling their car slide around corners – drifting, in other words – but still regaining its composure with all-wheel-drive. 

The AWD Ford Focus RS will start at $36,605 in the U.S.

The four-door hatchback’s 2.3-liter EcoBoost will get 350 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque. It will have a top speed of 165 miles per hour, and race from 0-60 mph in an estimated 4.7 seconds.

Highly anticipated by rally enthusiasts and others, the sporty hatch was unveiled a year ago in Cologne, Germany, where Ford’s RS performance label was first born with the Ford 15M RS in 1968. 

The Focus RS was developed by engineers in the U.S. and Europe, and is being built at Ford’s Saarlouis, Germany, manufacturing plant beginning late this year. It will come in Nitrous Blue,Stealth Gray, Shadow Black and Frozen White colors.

The first Focus to wear the RS badge was a 215-hp Focus RS in 2002. The second generation Focus RS has 305 hp. 

Other all-wheel-drive, RS-badged performers for Ford include the mid-engine 1984 RS200, the 1990 Sierra RS Cosworth 4×4, the Escort RS Cosworth and 1994 Escort RS2000 4×4.

The Focus RS is one of 12 new performance vehicles the Dearborn automaker plans to unveil through 2020.

David Muller is the automotive and business reporter for MLive Media Group in Detroit. Email him at dmuller@mlive.com, follow him on Twitter or find him on Facebook.

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