Ford’s new documentary will highlight how the 350-hp Focus RS was developed

Ford is preparing to release an online documentary titled Rebirth of an Icon that highlights precisely how the family-friendly Focus hatchback was transformed into the hot-rodded 2016 Focus RS.

The Blue Oval secretly shot the documentary during every step of the RS’ development process. As a result, Rebirth of an Icon shows the hot hatch testing in the oven-like heat of the Arizona desert, in the exceptionally low temperatures of an Arctic winter, and everywhere in between. The RS was filmed with full camouflage on public roads, being pushed to its limits – and beyond – by professional test drivers on the track and, finally, during a crash test.

A long list of Ford employees including managers, designers, engineers, mechanics, and test drivers contributed to the documentary to ensure that it provides a complete behind-the-scenes look. Rebirth of an Icon also stars well-known Gymkhana driver Ken Block and Raj Nair, Ford’s Group Vice President, Global Product Development, and Chief Technical Officer.


“The Focus RS is a unique performance vehicle with an incredible heritage. This creates enormous expectation and intense pressure that demands teamwork, sheer determination and a single-minded focus on delivering the ultimate Focus. This access-all-areas documentary perfectly captures what is at times a bumpy ride,” stated Nair in a statement.

The first of eight weekly episodes will go live on September 30th. It will cover the earliest phase of the project, in which Block and Nair debate the kind of performance and driving experience that the Focus RS should deliver. Projected to hit the screens in November, the very last episode will highlight the final management review.

The trailer published by Ford suggests that transforming the Focus into a track monster worthy of wearing the heritage-laced RS emblem wasn’t easy, but it looks like the development team’s efforts paid off. Fitted with a turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine that makes 350 horsepower, the RS can reach 60 mph from a stop in 4.7 seconds before going on to a top speed of 165 mph. At the time of writing, it’s the fastest RS-badged Ford ever built.