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Ford insiders have confirmed that an even more hardcore version of the 345bhp five-door is under consideration - and it has the potential to be the fastest-accelerating hatchback in history.

Ford’s options for bringing extra grip, performance and excitement to the new RS will be delivered mainly through weight saving and upgrading the RS’s drivetrain. This will be possible in a car with an asking price that could even eclipse the £40,000 of the Ford’s premium-branded opposition.

However, the car’s 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine is already operating close to its maximum and attempts to conjure more power will be hampered by the lack of room for additional cooling capacity



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