Britain’s ongoing and recent love affair with lightweight track ready sports cars appears to be going full steam ahead with the newest unveiling from Zenos that brings more power and even more amounts of race ready technology into an already formidable track weapon that has certainly made a splash since its initial debut.
Known formally as the E10 R, Zenos claims that this new model is the fastest and most thrilling model to date which should please E10 buyers that crave a bit more performance in their E10 purchase. The R retains the basic E10 styling formula, but features an all new Ford derived 2.3 liter EcoBoost four cylinder engine that delivers 350 horsepower and an equally balanced 350 lb-ft of torque. Not only is this horsepower figure on par with the recently unveiled Ford Focus RS hatchback, but allows the E10 R to blitz its way to 60 mph in a swift 3.0 seconds flat, before topping out at a governed 155 mph.
The lightweight aluminum and carbon fiber components of its structure are largely carried over from other E10 models, but the R incorporates new Bilstein adjustable dampers as well as stronger brakes that feature an all new rotor and caliper design to help improve braking performance. 16 and 17 inch wheels are also a part of the package and help cleave 22 lbs of unsprung weight from the car’s flanks. This helps the car check in at an impressive 1,543 lbs which represents a 55 lb weight loss over the E10 S. Buyers that feel the R needs a little more spice can opt for a quick release steering wheel, carbon fiber racing seats, and six point harnesses to help keep occupants planted during spirited track day work.
Unlike other track day cars that often charge a premium for their levels of fun, the E10 R still remains somewhat affordable with the base model starting at £39,000 ($59,247). It is currently unknown if Zenos will perhaps offer this particular model to prospective buyers here in the U.S. but if they do, it will still face some tough competition from rivals such as the Morgan 3-Wheeler, Caterham Seven, as well as Rezvani and their Beast model lineup. In the meantime, U.S. buyers can preview the 2.3 liter EB engine in the Focus RS, and also check out this video of the E10 R in action below.
Following a leak that took place earlier today, Ford has officially unveiled the 2016 Ford Focus RS ahead of its official debut at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show in March. The RS will square off against the Volkswagen Golf R in the upper echelons of the hot hatch segment a place the Golf R largely had to its self prior to the RS’s unveiling.
The exterior styling of the Focus RS is honed to be much more aggressive than the slightly tamer ST model and achieves this effect thanks to a redesigned front bumper that features a bigger grille, splitter, and an equally beefier air dam assembly. The bold side skirts snake their way to the rear of the hatch where a big roof mounted rear wing, and an integrated rear air diffuser maximize the car’s aerodynamic capabilities even further while also looking cool at the same time. Rounding out the meaner aesthetic treatment are a pair of dual exhaust tips (that ditch the ST’s center mounted arraignment) and 19 inch multi spoke wheels that are shod in sticky Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires.
Meanwhile the interior also adopts a decidedly edgier design theme and features a flat bottomed leather upholstered steering wheel, alloy pedals, supportive Recaro front bucket seats for the front passengers, and three additional driver focused gauges that are located in a small cluster on top of the dashboard. In addition buyers can also equip the RS with the latest iteration of Ford’s touch screen based SYNC system that trumps the Golf R’s MDI system by offering USB ports as standard equipment versus the VW’s iPhone focused setup.
Performance for the 2016 Focus RS comes from a tweaked variant of the 2.3 liter turbocharged EcoBoost four cylinder that is also found under the hood of the Ford Mustang. Ford has not released official horsepower numbers as of yet, but the company claims that the engine has been tuned to produce over 315 horsepower an impressive number that beats the VW by 23 horses. This new-found muscle allows the RS to make the sprint to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds with the engine linked to a six speed manual transmission that promises firmer shifts. The biggest change though is not the engine, but rather the all new all-wheel drive system which is a first for the Focus RS. The system features torque vectoring software and can send up to 70 percent of the engines torque to the rear wheels, and as a bonus up to 100 percent of torque to a particular wheel to prevent slip.
In addition to the all-wheel drive system, Ford engineers also revamped the Focus RS;s handling behavior thanks to a lowered and stiffened sport suspension with two mode shock absorbers while upgraded brakes provide smooth steady stops from a wide range of vehicle features. These features allow drivers to take advantage of the Focus RS’s full potential both on and off the track.
Look for the 2016 Ford Focus RS to go on sale across the U.S. before the end of 2015, with details such as pricing information, and full specifications being announced closer to its formal on-sale date and subsequent launch.