The Ford Focus RS is going to be so hot that has a feature to help out if you can’t handle it.
Ford has revealed that the $36,605 high performance hatchback’s 2.3-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine will be pumping out 350 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque when it hits the road later this year.
The rally-inspired 5-door will only be available with a six-speed manual transmission, and has an all-wheel-drive system equipped with a “drift mode” that can send up to 70 percent of the power to either or both of the rear wheels to facilitate some sideways slip-sliding fun.
But the RS is also fitted with a fuel-saving stop/start system that shuts the engine off when you’re in neutral and not moving at all, quickly starting it again when you reengage the clutch. But that’s not the only time the left pedal can work as an ignition switch. The Focus RS will be the first Ford sold in the United States with a “stall recovery” system, in case you choke when you try to get going again.
Stall most cars today, and you have to press in the clutch pedal, shift the transmission into neutral, and either turn the key or press the stop/start button while everyone waiting behind you in their automatic transmission equipped minivans honk and laugh at your misfortune.
In the RS, however, the computer figures out what happened, and restarts the engine as soon as you press the clutch, even as the transmission remains in first gear, so you don’t have to wait long for the opportunity to embarrass yourself again.