Ford have announced that the latest version of its Focus road car will be developed into a 'global' touring car and anticipate that the first appearance for the car will be in the 2011 British Touring Car Championship.

The announcement, made at the SEMA show in Las Vegas, said that private race teams are cooperating with the company's global motorsport group to develop the technical specifications for car. It will initially conform to FIA Super 2000 regulations, but will have the potential to be adapted to other regulations such as the NGTC rules that the BTCC will use in 2011.

Ford will support the teams by providing data, advanced engineering tools, state-of-the-art testing facilities and production parts.

“There has been tremendous interest from the racing world about the new Focus, and it's the perfect fit for a global touring car,” said Jost Capito, director of Global Performance Vehicles and Motorsports Business Development. “Even more, by working with professional private race teams, we're ensuring Focus has the support it needs to compete and win.”

The development of the global touring car will benefit the high-performance Focus ST road car that will be launched in 2012.

Arena Motorsport developed the previous Focus ST model into a BTCC racing car, winning seven races in the 2010 season as Team Aon. The Focus is also currently raced in the China Touring Car Championship. Ford previously developed a Focus to Super 2000 regulations, which was raced unsuccessfully by Hotfiel Sport in the first season of the WTCC in 2005.