Ford has explained why it is “not planning” to build a high-performance Focus RS based on the current-generation hatchback.

Earlier in April 2020, a report from France suggested the Blue Oval brand had scrapped plans to create an RS-badged Focus. And now Ford has confirmed the news.

“As a result of pan-European emissions standards, increased CO2 taxation and the high cost of developing an RS with some form of electrification for a relatively low volume of vehicles, we are not planning another RS version of the Focus,” a Ford spokesperson told Autocar.

“We remain committed to Ford Performance vehicles in Europe as part of our DNA, with cars like the multi-award-winning Focus ST and Fiesta ST, as well as our Mustang and Ranger Raptor models,” the spokesperson added.

The UK-based publication’s story from February 2020 claimed the future of the Focus RS nameplate was hanging in the balance as Ford’s engineering team searched for a “solution” to keep the flagship performance model alive.

According to that report, the firm was attempting to develop a full-hybrid powertrain that wouldn’t negatively impact the firm’s average fleet CO2 emissions figure, which has to be capped at 95 g/km under the new EU regulations.

The publication claimed Ford was using its 2,5-litre petrol-hybrid powertrain (as employed by the latest Kuga in Europe) as a base, attempting to both extract more oomph and cut weight.

Of course, the previous-generation Focus RS hot hatch was removed from Ford SA's pricelist back in November 2018, with production having ceased in Germany in April of that year. And in July 2019, the Blue Oval brand's local arm told CARmag.co.za it had "no current plans" to bring in the new, fourth-generation Focus hatchback...