Ever since Ford revealed the fourth-generation Focus two years ago, we've been waiting on word about the high-performance RS version. Late last year rumours began circulating that it'd feature a mild hybrid system to pass Europe's tightening emissions regulations.

Though by early this year, there were doubts there'd be a Focus RS at all, which culminated in a report from earlier this week that confirmed the model was dead in the development waters. But a new report says otherwise.

While rumours of the model's demise relied on anonymous sources within Ford, the new story from CarAdvice has a Ford spokesperson on record saying it's "too early to speculate" about the Focus RS's future. The new Focus rides on the company's C2 platform, which the spokesperson said features a "highly-advanced technology-laden architecture," adding that the platform is capable of fitting "a range of efficient powertrains."

Reports of its possible hybridization popped up in August of last year. By December, there was a rumour that Ford would electrify the RS's rear axle, giving the hot hatch 400 bhp. It'd retain the 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine, but it'd only power the front wheels. That output would put it within the same class as the Mercedes-AMG A45 S that makes 416 bhp.

Gallery: Ford Focus ST (2019) test

The Ford spokesperson also told CarAdvice that the RS model often arrived later in the Focus's lifecycle, rarely launching alongside the regular version. Early rumours again suggested that a fourth-generation Ford Focus RS would arrive for the 2021 model year, though later rumours suggested that could be pushed back to 2022 or 2023. Either way, Ford doesn't comment on future products, and we won't know for sure whether there'll be a new RS until Ford says so. Until then, it's all speculation – and it's still a bit early for that.