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Is Ford Crazy Enough To Build An Edge RS With A Manual Transmission?

Would this compensate for the US not getting the next Focus RS?

When Ford announced its decision to kill off all non-SUV models except for the Mustang, a huge portion of the enthusiast community mourned the loss of cars like the Fiesta ST, Focus ST, and Focus RS. The next generation Focus RS is rumored to be a 400 horsepower hybrid hot hatch but of course, the US won’t get it. Instead, Ford will work on building ST-badged SUV models like the new 2019 Edge ST.

At the launch event for the new Edge and Edge ST, MotorTrend spoke to Ed Krenz, the Chief Functional Engineer for Ford Performance, about the future of Ford’s performance SUVs now that the company has turned away from sedans and hatchbacks.

When asked about a crazy idea like an Edge RS, Krenz already seemed to have his own ideas on what such a model would be like. “Now that would clearly be a bit of a white space vehicle, so it’s not something we’d go and say, ‘Let’s go copy X, Y, or Z. ‘” Krenz said.

“We’d be able to create kind of that segment of non-premium, ultra-high-performance SUVs. What would we like it to be? The RS would have to bring more power. The RS would have to bring additional vehicle dynamics. That could be done through even more aggressive tires, more aggressive suspension setup, active dampers, torque vectoring. Those are things we definitely know how to do if we decide that we want to do it,” he added.

Krenz didn’t go into the specifics but the Edge ST already produces 335 horsepower from a 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6. An Edge RS could potentially pack close to 400 hp from the F-150’s 3.5-liter V6. As for the transmission, a manual isn’t completely out of the question.

“I think there is definitely a manual transmission enthusiasts group,” said Krenz. “It’s something on a Mustang product that we refused to walk away from, the manual transmission. You know, the Fiesta and Focus ST traditionally have had that capability. I think we’re gonna learn a little bit, whether or not this segment really requires that.”

If internet comments are anything to go off of, nearly everyone refuses to buy a car that doesn’t come with a manual transmission, so Ford should definitely offer it on its SUVs. In case you didn’t catch our sarcasm there, we should note how few people actually go out and buy a new car with a manual. So the next time a company like Ford offers a trio of manual-only hot hatchbacks, go out and actually buy one.

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