Ford has confirmed that an RS version of the Focus will be launched in 2009, and expects to have a concept version ready for display by the middle of next year.
The RS has already been under development for several months, but the serious business starts now that Ford has given it the official green light.
There is still a lot of work to do, so Ford isn't saying anything about technical specifications just yet. However, Ford Team RS leader Jost Capito says that the existing Focus ST will be used as "the base" for the new car.
If that's an accurate description, the RS may well use the ST's Volvo-designed 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder petrol engine, probably producing quite a bit more than the current 225bhp. We can also expect the new car to be substantially more on-edge than the soft and friendly ST - possibly something more like the original Focus RS launched in 2002.