Style in the Snow
Keep your Focus RS street cred all year long with the Winter Tire Package
By Steve Turner
Photos courtesy of Ford Motor Company
Despite its performance credentials, the forthcoming Focus RS will hit the ground fully capable of being a year-round car thanks to its all-wheel-drive powertrain. However, if you are piloting an RS, you probably aren’t the sort that wants to roll around all winter long on a cheap set of wheels for your winter tires. Thankfully you can retain that RS look and upgrade to winter capabilities when you order Ford’s optional Winter Tire Package.
“We started this project knowing what our RS customers really want out of their cars,” says Adam Wirth, chassis supervisor, Ford Performance. “This tire package allows RS owners to continue spirited driving even in the snow.”
To develop a wheel and tire package that was up for extreme weather conditions but also met Ford Performance’s standards meant creating a whole new set of standards. Then they put the hardware to the test in the cold and snow of Northern Michigan and—as viewers of the Rebirth of an Icon docuseries saw—Sweden…
Obviously this wheel and tire package was engineered for cold-weather conditions, but it was also built to deliver the kind of ride quality, handling, and performance the Focus RS drivers will demand.
Narrower and shorter than the factory setup to improve traction in winter conditions, the resulting combination is a set of 225/40-R18 Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 tires mounted to 18×7.5-inch wheels, which we brought to light in our First Ride story last November. While these new 18-inch wheels are similar in style to the base Focus RS wheels, they are finished in sparkle silver rather than black to help mask salt-spray residue.
“We fully expect our more extreme-weather customers to take advantage of the ability to use snow chains,” Adam added, confirming that this setup will indeed accept chains.
While this package is standard in Canada, other North American customers can order the Winter Tire Package for $1,995. For that they will receive their standard wheels and tires plus the aforementioned Michelins and sparkle silver wheels. The latter are fully mounted and balanced and come with tire pressure monitoring sensors and center caps, so they are ready to swap out when the weather turns cold.
Focus RS Winter Tire Package Gallery