Ford, which is on a high now after its Le Mans win last week, seems to be working on an even more potent version of its Focus RS hot hatch. Likely to be the successor to the RS500 launched in 2010, this could very well be the car that marks the end of production for the current-generation Focus.

Although at first sight it might look like the RS, those extra air intakes on the bonnet and the modified rear spoiler point to this being a different, presumably even hotter model.

Under that bonnet, it’s going to be the same 2.3-litre Ecoboost engine, probably massaged to churn out even more performance than the RS’s 350 horsepower and 400Nm of torque. Acceleration figures will also likely be improved to be around the low 4-seconds mark as against the 4.7 seconds of the current RS. These changes should bring the RS500 closer in performance to the Mercedes-AMG A45 and the Audi RS3.

To achieve this, Ford is also expected to work on making the RS500 even lighter by up to 100kg by stripping the cabin of many convenience features, replacing glass windows with polycarbonate and employing lots of carbon fibre in the construction.

If this is indeed the RS500, it should be out some time next year, as the next all-new generation of the Focus is due in 2018.