The New Ford Focus RS
Since its introduction in 2002 the RS – which stands for ‘rallye sport’ – has been the halo model for fast Ford fans in the UK. It’s a nod to legendary cars like the RS1600 and the Sierra Cosworth, both of which were attainable and immensely quick.
Prices for this car start at just under £30,000, and its driving dynamics and sheer power would challenge cars costing three times that. It’s all-wheel-drive, it hits 62mph in 4.7 seconds, and it sounds like an angry lion. Ridiculous. This is the kind of car you could fall in love with – and then lease for £299 a month from your nearest Ford dealer.
It’s pretty subtle until you notice the more aggressive bodywork, the spoiler above the rear windscreen, and the sculpted front and rear. The launch colour is Nitrous Blue, which accounts for most of the orders currently placed, but opting for a quieter colour will create an understated ‘sleeper’ car.
Ford has used some interior space to build a unique all-wheel-drive system. You lose around 60 litres from the (already mediocre) boot, and the standard seats are bulky and eat into rear passenger legroom. Splash out on the shell seats for a more comfortable cabin.
Despite being a performance-oriented car, the RS has all the mod cons you’d expect. A couple of 12v charging sockets up front, loads of stowage space, and some USB ports as well.
Ford has built a brilliant driver’s car. They even have a metric for how ‘fun’ it is to rev the engine (very), and they teamed up with stunt driver and internationally-renowned boy racer Ken Block to make a car that you can mess around in.
The RS has four main driving modes. Normal, Sport, Track and Drift. If those last two words don’t excite you then you should probably stop reading, as the RS isn’t for you.