This might be the hottest hatchback that Ford has ever created

Focus RSCourtesy of FordThe new 2016 Ford Focus RS.

The 2016 Ford Focus RS hatchback, the latest release from Ford’s new Performance Division will arrive at North American dealerships this spring, Ford said today.

To up the fun, the all-wheel-drive, 350-horsepower hatchback comes with a “drift mode” and launch control.

Drifting is something that expert drivers can do on a track, getting a car to slide sideways amid plumes of tire smoke. Launch control allows for quick starts without speed-sapping wheel spin.

Sporting a significant suspension upgrade and a 2.3 litre EcoBoost engine, Ford lists the 0-62 time for the RS as 4.7 seconds: impressive for a car into which you can easily fit your dog.

The Focus RS will be built in Germany, and will be sold under Fords “Performance Division” marquee — which also includes the upcoming GT supercar, the Mustang GT-350, and the F-150 Raptor pickup truck.

This is the first time the RS trim will be available in the United States. The “hot” hatchback, a very successful concept in Europe, has traditionally received lukewarm support over here, outside the hardcore enthusiast crowd.

But that seems to be changing; the Focus RS will have to compete with similar models like the year-old Volkswagen Golf R and the well loved but very niche Subaru Impreza STI.

And if you want to see how that “drift mode” works, allow Ford to explain:

 

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