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Vale, North Carolina, United States
Does the car above, posing fancifully in white, look familiar? Well, it should. Although it wears Mondeo badges in the form you see above for the Chinese market - as it does in Europe - the car is basically the same thing sold in the US as the Ford Fusion. Of course, it's what's under that shapely skin that counts.
Ford has chosen the Shanghai Motor Show as the venue with which to unveil its 1.5-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine. We'd heard about the engine before, but now we have a few performance estimates to share: 133 kW of power (about 178 horsepower) and 240 Nm of torque (about 177 pound-feet).
Those numbers pretty much confirm previous rumors indicating about 177 in each category, and it's right on par with what Ford's own 1.6-liter EcoBoost produces. Ford is claiming best-in-class fuel economy as well, but no specific figures have yet been provided. In any case, we'll surely have all the data soon enough, as the 1.5-liter mill is destined for the US Fusion in 2014.
It's not the first time Ford has participated in the Daytona Prototype class as an engine supplier, but in revealing this new EcoBoost V6-powered Riley Technologies prototype for the new United SportsCar Championship, Ford is making a statement: "We want to show Ford EcoBoost's capabilities as an engine that provides both performance and fuel economy, on and off the track," says Jamie Allison, director of Ford Racing.
In addition to supplying the 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6, Ford had its production designer Garen Nicoghosian give the racecar brand-inspired design cues with support from Ford Racing chief aerodynamicist Bernie Marcus.
The car is scheduled to compete at next year's Rolex 24 at Daytona on January 25-26, but before that, Michael Shank Racing is working with Ford at another goal. Driving his Ford Thunderbird, NASCAR champion Bill Elliott set the track's top speed record at 210.364 miles per hour during a qualifying run for the Daytona 500 - way back in 1987 -- and Ford thinks it's about time for that record to fall. What better time the introduction of this new Ford-powered Daytona Prototype? Michael Shank Racing plans to use the twin-turbo V6-powered racer to beat Elliott's record, and it expects to begin prepping for the top-speed run on October 9. Scroll down for the full press release below on Ford's latest race effort.
Okay Ford, this is what we like to see. One of our intrepid spy photographers has captured a vehicle that we weren't even sure would see the light of day - the next Focus RS. While this is pretty clearly a mule based on the current Focus ST, as our spy points out, there are a number of giveaways about this hot hatch's true nature.
Indication number one that all is not right with this Focus is the heavily camo'd front fascia, which has been completely reconfigured for duty on the RS. It boasts significantly larger grilles that are meant to accommodate what is likely the 2.3-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder that's destined for the 2015 Ford Mustang. Considering that, then, we can expect around 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque from the hottest of Foci, although it's entirely possible that the production model could climb even higher, to around 330 hp.
The front fascia tweaks are complemented in the back by a modified rear bumper, which fails at hiding a pair of exhaust tips quite unlike the standard Focus ST's center-exit exhaust. Other obvious changes include the wheel/tire/brake package on this particular car. Larger 19-inch wheels are shod in super-sticky Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires in 235/35/19 while the brakes feature what we think are four-piston calipers, possibly from Brembo, up front.