Ford Focus RS Will Offer First-Ever Factory Winter Tires

And Dearborn seems pretty damned stoked about it.

byWill Sabel Courtney|
Ford News photo

How excited is Ford to offer a winter wheel-and-tire package for the 2016 Focus RS? So excited, the third word in the headline of its press release is a dirty word. Granted, “damned” isn’t exactly one of George Carlin’s “Seven Words” but in the world of corporate automotive PR, it’s the equivalent of a priest dropping the f-bomb during Christmas Eve mass.

Then again, considering the record cold and snowfall in New York City this year, a little obscenity is merited. Because Ford’s new 350-horsepower hoon hatch will now have the option to equip a four-pack of Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 snow tires, outfitted with tire-pressure monitors and mounted to 18-inch aluminum wheels. Ford claims this is the first time an OEM has offered a factory-spec winter wheel-and-tire package for a production car. As far as we can remember, that’s correct.

Tested in the icy, Lutheran wastelands of Sweden and northern Michigan, the winter wheel-and-tire package is smaller and narrower than the standard 19-inch setup. (Ford’s press release also slyly suggests owners can fit chains “if necessary.”) The wheels are painted silver, instead of the usual Focus RS black, ostensibly to hide salt spray and grime but also because, let’s face it, the whole black wheel trend is getting a little passé.

The whole winter-ready kit n’caboodle runs $1,995, one five-spot more than the Focus RS’s optional 19-inch forged aluminum package. Then again, that setup subs Michelin Cup 2 summers in lieu of regular all-season rubber, whereas the winter tire package gives you an additional four wheels and tires. In other words, it’s a damned steal.