Tuesday, February 10th 2015. | Advanced Technology, Auto & Motor, Car

In a rather unexpected turn of events, Ford took the automotive world by surprise in early 2015, when it introduced a host of high-performance models, such as the second-generation GT supercar, the Shelby GT350R and the third-gen Focus RS. They are all part of the Blue Oval’s new performance offensive, and harken back to iconic classics from the company’s rich motorsport history. Since we’ve already discussed both the GT and the Shelby GT350R, it is time to turn our attention to the Focus RS, a race-bred hatchback inspired by Ford’s WRC-winning RS World Rally Car.

Sure, you’re probably ready to point out that the brand-new RS is in no way related to the Focus WRC, which was retired at the end of the 2010 season and replaced by a Fiesta-based rally car, but that’s not entirely true. While the Focus may have ended its career as a rally car more than four years ago, its spirit was summoned back to life with more rally-inspired technology than ever, including an all-wheel-drive system. Keep reading to find out what makes the 2016 Focus RS the spiritual successor to the previous-gen Focus WRC.

Click past the jump to learn which version is better: street or race!

2016 Ford Focus RS VS. Ford Focus WRC originally appeared on topspeed.com on Tuesday, 10 February 2015 17:00 EST.

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