The interwebs overfloweth this week with more anxious reports of the return of Ford’s compact giant slayer, the Focus RS. Britain’s Autocar made the boldest claims of the bunch, going so far as to essentially state that the RS is a done deal, tossing in some rendered images to sweeten the story. While the Autocar report neglects to name names, they claim sources at Ford report that the RS is under development, and “sign-off for the project is imminent, dependent on final analysis showing a business case for it to sit beside the new, European-bound Mustang, which is confirmed for 2014.”

Car and Driver has been on the trail of a new Focus RS for a few months now, so we thought we’d reach out to our own sources at Ford for a quick update on the RS situation. First, our insiders were quick to tell us that it’s not uncommon for engineers working on a project to “leak” information in hopes of influencing corporate decisions when it comes time to approve a future product, which leads us to believe at least a few Ford engineers are clinging to hopes of a rebirth of the hot-hatch version of the Focus. That said, our sources indicated that if the RS does, in fact, make the jump from fanboy fiction to a genuine showroom artifact, it almost certainly would be a global vehicle, citing the company’s decision to take the Edge and Mustang to Europe as examples of the company’s dedication to the One Ford strategy.

One of the most-talked-about hurdles to the fruition of a new Focus RS is how it would sit in Ford’s lineup alongside the Mustang. If the RS were produced, it likely would produce as much power as a V-6–powered Mustang, and the pair’s prices wouldn’t differ too much, either. However, Autocar reports that Ford sees these cars satisfying two different market, calling them “complementary” to one another.

By Andrew Wendler

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