Ford races to the top in Geneva with high-performance cars

CarsBy Robbie Farrell
The Ford GT was one of the stars of the show
The Ford GT was one of the stars of the show

Ford Motor Company powered into the 2015 Geneva Motor Show with its most technologically advanced performance model range ever.

This included the global motor show debut of the all-new Ford Focus RS high-performance hatchback, and the European premiere of the all-new Ford GT supercar.

Revealed with the help of F1 legend Johnny Herbert, these exciting new models lined up on the Ford stand alongside the new Focus ST – available with a performance diesel engine for the first time, the highly acclaimed Fiesta ST, and the all-new Ford Mustang.

“The Ford performance vehicle line-up on show in Geneva stretches from a compact hatch to a supercar, and with 12 models to come through 2020, this promises to be a vintage era for driving enthusiasts,” said Jim Farley, Ford Motor Company executive vice president and president Europe, Middle East and Africa.

“A passion for performance runs through our veins at Ford, and it’s our mission to make performance accessible to as many people as possible.

“Ford also is delivering exciting new products such as the all-new Ford Edge SUV, and the new upscale Vignale product and ownership experience that will further expand our appeal,” Farley added.

The third-generation Focus RS performance hatch pioneers the innovative Ford Performance All-Wheel-Drive system, and is the first RS to offer selectable Drive Modes – including industry-first Drift Mode – and Launch Control.

The all-new Ford GT supercar sets new standards for Ford innovation through performance with light-weighting, aerodynamics and EcoBoost technology.

Both models were developed by the newly established Ford Performance team, which unifies Ford SVT, Team RS and Ford Racing globally.

Ford Performance will serve as a laboratory and test bed to create unique performance vehicles, parts, accessories and experiences for customers, as well as innovations and technologies to enhance Ford products across the range.

The team is committed to delivering the 12 new performance vehicles globally through 2020, adding to Ford Motor Company’s rich performance heritage.

Also on display for the first time in Geneva are two all-new EcoBoost-powered Ford motorsport vehicles that make their competitive debuts this year. Powered by the award-winning 1.0-litre Ford EcoBoost engine, the Ford Fiesta R2 rally car based on the road-going Ford Fiesta is set to be the first 1.0-litre vehicle homologated in its competition class.

The MSA Formula single-seat, purpose-built race car is a natural evolution from the successful Formula Ford vehicle.

All-new Focus RS

Ford Performance All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) with Dynamic Torque Vectoring enables up to 70 per cent of drive torque to be diverted to the rear axle for enhanced handling, traction and cornering speed. Selectable Normal, Sport or Track Drive Modes deliver optimum performance in road or circuit driving conditions, and an industry-first Drift mode supports controlled oversteer drifts on track. .

For ultimate performance off the start-line, Launch Control configures the vehicle’s chassis and powertrain systems to deliver the fastest possible acceleration, whatever the track conditions.

The driver selects Launch Control from the cluster menu, engages first gear, applies full throttle and then releases the clutch. The vehicle then delivers optimum drive – including distributing torque through the AWD, maintaining maximum torque using turbo overboost function, managing the traction control system, and setting the dampers.

Ford’s 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine delivers more than 320 PS, requiring Focus RS to be equipped with powerful Brembo four-piston brake callipers and 350 mm ventilated front discs and an exterior design that eliminates lift forces for optimum high-speed handling and stability.

The all-new Focus RS is the 30th car to wear the legendary RS “Rallye Sport” badge, reserved for Ford models that have pioneered performance technologies. Focus RS follows in the footsteps of Ford models including the 16-valve 1970 Escort RS1600, turbocharged Sierra RS Cosworth of 1985, and four-wheel-drive 1992 Escort RS Cosworth.

Ford GT

The pinnacle of the Ford Performance line-up, the all-new Ford GT uses an aerodynamic carbon fibre body and fuel-efficient twin-turbocharged V6 EcoBoost engine to deliver one of the best power-to-weight ratios of any production car, and innovations that will benefit future Ford models across the board.

The Ford GT is an ultra-high-performance supercar that serves as a technology showcase for EcoBoost performance, aerodynamics and lightweight carbon fibre construction.

The model is propelled by the most powerful EcoBoost production engine ever – producing more than 600 horsepower and demonstrating remarkable efficiency – paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

GT acceleration, handling, braking, safety and efficiency are optimised through the use of advanced lightweight composites including a carbon fibre passenger cell and body panels, and aluminium front and rear subframes.

Drag is minimised and downforce increased with a tear-drop shaped body featuring active aerodynamics. The state-of-the-art Ford GT chassis features an active racing-style torsion bar and pushrod suspension, with adjustable ride height, and carbon-ceramic brake discs. The new GT will one of the most exclusive Ford vehicles ever with limited volume sold around the world.

New Focus ST

The most advanced version of the Ford Focus ST yet is available to order across Europe in five-door and wagon bodystyles, offering an even more responsive, balanced and refined driving experience, and for the first time the choice of two powerful engines – one petrol and one diesel.

Driving dynamics are optimised with enhanced front-end body stiffness, all-new front springs, sportier new shock absorber tuning and revised Electronic Power Assisted Steering calibration.

Debuting a new 185 PS 2.0-litre diesel engine that delivers 400 Nm of torque from 2,000-2,750 rpm alongside the proven 250 PS 2.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine, the new Ford Focus ST takes day-to-day usability to a new level.

The model also features sportier and more aggressive styling, and driver assistance, convenience and connectivity technologies including SYNC 2 connectivity system. Adaptive Front Lighting and Cross Traffic Alert are offered for the first time.

Fiesta ST

Introduced in early 2013, the Fiesta ST quickly established itself as the leading small performance hatchback in Europe and around the world, with more than 20 awards and accolades within its first year on sale.

The most powerful ever production version of Europe’s best-selling small car *, the Fiesta ST delivers 182 PS from a 1.6-litre EcoBoost petrol engine and features revised suspension and braking for enhanced handling and driving dynamics.

The Fiesta ST chassis also is electronically optimised with features including enhanced Torque Vectoring Control and 3-mode Electronic Stability Control.

All-new Ford motorsport models

The Fiesta R2 will be the first 1.0-litre rally car homologated by motorsport’s governing body the FIA following new regulations that now allow 1.0-litre cars to compete in the R2 rally class.

Developed by M-Sport with support from Ford, it features heavily revised transmission, brakes and suspension systems, and is designed to provide young drivers with the perfect platform to launch their rallying careers on the global stage.

Heralding a new chapter in Ford junior single-seat racing, the all-new MSA racer is powered by a 160 PS 1.6-litre Ford EcoBoost engine and features an FIA Formula 4 chassis.

This employs the latest carbon fibre technology for enhanced safety. MSA Formula – an FIA-accredited Formula 4 championship designed to prepare young drivers for international racing careers – is the natural evolution from the highly successful Ford-backed Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain.

All-new Ford Mustang

Now available to order across Europe for the first time in more than 50 years of production, the all-new Ford Mustang delivers world-class levels of performance and refinement. The sleek profile and signature trapezoidal grille with shark-bite front fascia are classic Mustang.

New treatments for the three-dimensional, tri-bar LED tail lamps and side mirrors are specially designed for Europe.

Available with Ford’s acclaimed 5.0 litre V8 engine with 418 PS and 524 Nm of torque and the 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine delivering 314 PS and 434 Nm, the all-new Ford Mustang for Europe also offers six-speed manual or automatic transmissions and features standard Performance Pack chassis tuning for the all-new front and rear suspension systems.

Standard equipment includes: 19-inch wheels, a performance brake package, and SYNC 2 voice control connectivity with 8-inch colour touch screen. Ten exterior colour choices include exclusive Competition Orange and tri-coat Triple Yellow.

“The Ford Performance line-up already is among the most comprehensive in Europe, with an increasing range of models to suit every budget and lifestyle, also now complemented by the iconic Mustang that has provoked an incredible response already from European customers,” Farley said.