The Ford Focus RS has officially become one of the first major casualties of tighter emissions standards in Europe.

The next-generation Ford Focus RS – which was about two to three years away from arriving in showrooms – has been axed because the cost of meeting more stringent emissions standards could not be justified against the limited demand for the niche performance model.

Car magazine the UK broke the story overnight and was soon followed by an official statement from Ford of Europe.

“As a result of … European emissions standards, increased CO2 taxation, and the high cost of developing (a next generation Ford Focus RS) with some form of electrification for a relatively low volume of vehicles, we are not planning another RS version of the Focus,” the statement from Ford of Europe said.

“We remain committed to Ford Performance vehicles in Europe as part of our DNA with cars like the multi-award-winning Focus ST and Fiesta ST as well as our Mustang and Ranger Raptor models.”

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