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Auto blogThu, 26 Jun 2014 14:28:00 EST
Ford is expected to be launching a revised version of the Focus ST soon, but the latest snapshots from our spy photographers at the Nürburgring suggest that the Blue Oval is already working on an even more potent example: the new Focus RS.
Though the partially disguised test mule is wearing an ST badge (along with a Dewey sticker that makes us wonder what adventures Huey and Louie are up to and what manner of duck-tail rear spoiler they may be wearing), there are several tell-tale signs that something else is afoot here. There's a larger front air dam, bigger brake calipers, dual exhaust tips (instead of the central exhaust on the ST) and a reshaped wing protruding from the trailing edge of the roof.
That may all be well and fine, but what's under the hood? We don't know yet for sure, but word has it that Ford is preparing to port over the 2.3-liter turbo four offered in the new Mustang, where it packs 305 horsepower and almost as much torque - potentially retuned to produce even more for the top-of-the-line Focus, which could channel it all to the front wheels like the last model or pack an all-wheel drive system. The Global C platform on which the Focus is based does, after all, also underpin AWD models like the Ford Escape and Lincoln MKC.
Ford marketing head honcho Jim Farley made waves at CES this week by telling show attendees, "We know everyone who breaks the law, we know when you're doing it." according to a report by Business Insider. Farley continued by saying, "We have GPS in your car, so we know what you're doing. By the way, we don't supply that data to anyone."
Farley has since amended his statement, saying that Ford dose not, in fact, track its customers in their cars "without their approval or consent."
Apparently carried away with a hypothetical notion, Farley was attempting to describe how Ford might be able to employee aggregated user data for things like accurate traffic reporting and pattern spotting. A Ford spokesperson confirmed with Business Insider that its GPS units are not sharing the whereabouts of drivers, though there are a few on-board services that might do so. After opting in to the services (and presumably being made aware of any/all tracking and data collection), Ford's Sync Services Directions and Crew Chief software do, in fact, allow data collection as a means of improving both systems. Farley added that the opt-in data is not shared, even when being tracked.
Between the Mustangs you'd find in Formula D and the Fiestas in the Global and World rallycross championships, there's no shortage of Ford drift cars on the scene. But at the upcoming SEMA Show in Las Vegas, the Blue Oval automaker intends to show off a different kind of drift machine.
Created in collaboration with driftmeister Vaughn Gittin, Jr., this custom F-150 has been designed for "on- and off-road capabilities, as well as drifting and jumping." It's got a suspension with components from Kibbetech King and Air Lift Performance to give it 12 inches of travel and comes packed with 5 Recaro seats. Other details remain limited, but if the rendering above is anything to go by, it ought to be pretty awesome.
Alongside the Gittin truck, Ford will also be showcasing another F-150 designed together with freestyle motorcross rider Brian Deegan, packing the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine and a long list of enhancements. Between these two trucks, Ford hopes to extend its winning streak for the Hottest Truck award that it's taken four years running now. Feel free to read more in the press release below.