Mildura Weekly : Friday July 22 Vol 10 No 37
36 MOTORING MILDURA WEEKLY FRIDAY, JULY 22, 2016 THE BOLD NEW HONDA CIVIC RS FROM $35,322 D/A > 1.5LT DOHC VTECH Turbo Engine > 17” Sports Alloys > Black Leather Heated Seats > Sunroof > Dual Zone Climate Control > Paddle Shift Gear Control > Tailgate Spoiler > Keyless Entry - Push Button Start > Lanewatch > Front & Rear Parking Sensors > And Much Much More LMCT 9319 The arrival of the new flagship of the Focus small hatchback line-up is part of Ford’s fresh product push in Australia; and the bid to retain fans of the Blue Oval after the end of local manufacturing in October appears to be working. Between 400 and 500 fast Ford fans have already placed orders for the third-generation Focus RS, which offers a mighty 257kW bang coupled to all- paw traction and a conspicuous aerodynamic work over for just $50,990 before on-road costs. High-performance variants and sportscars typically spike at launch before levelling out due to lower demand, but speaking at the launch of the feisty RS, Ford Australia president and CEO Graeme Whickman said the company could maintain interest in the car despite the common trend and a downturn in less effervescent Focus variants. “I think it functions in a different space,” he said. “I’m not saying it will be exactly the same (sales) every year, but if you segment it down and stratify the market, C-segment high-performance, let’s say 150kW plus and the 200kW plus, that 150kW plus is actually growing and is constant in its trajectory. “There is an ongoing appetite that sits there. There is such a base of normal mainstream hatch customers who aspire to jump in. It’s not what I would call a fringe high-performance vehicle that vacillates. I think actually it’s got a strong enduring demand because there are many people who aspire to have a performance derivative of the hatch they have driven or currently drive.” Unlike the runaway success Mustang sportscar that has a near two year waiting list, the Focus RS order logging system works differently and does not allow the exact figure to be generated, but Mr Whickman confirmed that the complete allocation of up to 500 RS variants was on track to sell out. “It’s a little bit harder to forecast because Mustang has a closer view because we put a manual customer handling process in place to monitor customers that were putting down a deposit, so we actually very closely monitor the demand. “That’s a very intensive exercise that we can’t do with every vehicle, so it’s a little less clear (for Focus RS) because we are not monitoring every customer who puts down a deposit. “We believe that we will sell between 400 and 500 this year. That will effectively sell out everything that we’ve got this year and we are in the process of starting to take the orders for next year. Ford has experienced a slight slowing of registrations in the rest of its Focus line-up, but Mr Whickman said the arrival of a new Ford Performance representative would have a positive effect on the entire brand, as well as lesser variants of the small hatchback. “Halo vehicles like the RS or a Mustang or the ST always provide an opportunity to polish the oval,” he said. “The fact that this is in the showroom gives us an opportunity to shine a light on other parts of the showroom, including Focus, that perhaps some people may have not considered in the past.” While many customers will be drawn to the RS for the same practicalities and reputation of the rest of the Focus line-up, the new flagship trades on its potent performance figures, headlined by the 2.3-litre turbocharged EcoBoost engine and driveline. The four-cylinder donk is closely related to the engine under the snout of Ford’ s popular Mustang EcoBoost, but differs in its transverse orientation and a power boost to 257kW and 440Nm thanks to some fettling from the engineers at Cosworth. Peak torque can be pushed to 470Nm for 15 seconds with an over boost function. Continued Page 41 GoAuto.com.au By DANIEL GARDNER FORD is rapidly finding homes for all of the firecracker Focus RS hot hatchbacks on offer in its first year of sale, with almost 500 sold before the model officially launched in Australia, and the car-maker says it can maintain interest in its most vicious small car thanks to growing demand in the segment. HIGH HOPES FOR SELL-OUT FOCUS RS SHARP FOCUS: Ford’s mighty Focus RS has landed and has already attracted significant interest with its vicious performance, accessible price and that look.
Friday July 15 Vol 10 No 36
Friday July 29 Vol 10 No 38