Fleet News

ST and RS are back as Ford piles on the power

RANGE-topping performance versions of the Ford Focus and Mondeo will go on sale late this year with user-chooser company car drivers among the targets. And the autumn arrival of both the 200bhp-plus Focus RS and Mondeo ST220 will ultimately pave the way for the return in two to three years of the Cosworth name to Ford cars.

The unveiling of the Focus RS, following the concept preview at the British International Motor Show, and the Mondeo ST Concept - although Ford made no secret that the car will go into production - came at Geneva. Following massive cost-cutting throughout Europe announced last year - including the decision to end UK production of Ford-badged cars - 2001 has been dubbed Ford's 'comeback year'.

David Thursfield, president and chief executive officer of Ford of Europe, declared: 'We have turned the corner. We have more work to do, but the signs of business recovery are there.' With 45 new vehicles destined for showrooms in the next five years - the next major UK launch will be the all-new Fiesta at the end of this year - Thursfield added: 'We've made the tough decisions now, and we're taking the steps necessary to help Ford of Europe emerge as a more vigorou,s competitive and dynamic company.'

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