With the launch of the new Honda Civic Type-R scheduled for the end of 2015, petrol heads are eagerly awaiting the launch of its competitor, the new Focus RS – and have just as eagerly been awaiting the announcement of its performance figures.

Ford has today announced that the 345bhp 2.3-litre EcoBoost powering the new Focus RS will propel the hot hatch from zero to 62mph in 4.7 seconds. It can also reach a top speed of 165mph. These figures make it the fastest accelerating Focus RS model ever.

Jürgen Gagstatter, chief program engineer for Focus RS, said: “After experiencing the acceleration and cornering capability of the Focus RS, drivers will question the sense in spending almost £10,000 more on a premium competitor."

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At 4.7 seconds, the new Focus RS is 1.3 seconds quicker than the Renault Megane 275 Trophy, a second quicker than the new Civic Type R and 0.4 seconds faster than the Volkswagen Golf R. It also covers the benchmark sprint 1.2 seconds quicker than the last Focus RS model.

These new nippy credentials are thanks to its new All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system, a first on the Focus RS, and its new Launch Control function – allowing the car to readily shoot itself off the blocks in rapid fashion.

The new Ford Focus RS is set to launch early next year, but is available to order now. Prices start from £28,940.