Ford's hot hatch — the fastest Focus in the world — will be built in Saarlouis, Germany, and is scheduled to begin arriving at U.S. Ford dealerships in the spring.
In comparison, the base 2016 Focus SE hatchback starts at $19,890, including shipping, according to the Ford vehicle configurator.
"The all-new Focus RS will bring the legendary nameplate to a new generation of global customers for the first time," said Dave Pericak, Ford Performance director, in a statement. "Focus RS delivers stunning performance and innovative technology at a price that will make both enthusiast consumers and premium automakers look twice."
The new Focus RS is propelled by a specially engineered version of Ford's 2.3-liter turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder engine. Ford projects output at 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, and says the RS should reach a top speed of 165 mph.
Power is transmitted through a six-speed manual transmission and an all-wheel-drive system that monitors inputs from multiple vehicle sensors 100 times per second and optimizes acceleration through launch control technology.
When the driver engages launch control from the cluster menu, applies full throttle and releases the clutch, the system maintains maximum torque using turbo overboost, managing traction control and adjusting the shock absorbers as necessary.
The Focus RS provides four different drive modes, ensuring optimum performance under various road conditions, including Normal, Sport, Track and an exclusive Drift mode to help the driver achieve controlled oversteer at the track.
Buyers will have their choice of four exterior colors, including Stealth Gray, Shadow Black, Frozen White and the optional $695 Nitrous Blue, a vibrant four-coat metallic finish that is exclusive to this model.
Exterior touches include a roof spoiler, a new front end with trapezoidal upper grille, a deep splitter with engine cooling ducts, bi-xenon HID headlights, sculptured rocker panels and wheel lips that house a choice of unique multi-spoke 19-inch alloy wheels.
The interior features partial-leather Recaro sport seats, a flat-bottom steering wheel and alloy pedals as well as the redesigned Focus control layout with 8-inch capacitive touchscreen and the latest Ford Sync system that provides voice-activated audio, navigation, climate control and mobile phones.
Edmunds says: Performance enthusiasts will pay a hefty premium for the Focus RS, but will get bragging rights to one of the most talked-about hot hatches on the market.