According to the boss of Ford’s RS (Rallye Sport) department the new Ford Focus RS is “A very serious machine, with the performance, traction and precision to match far more exotic sports cars. The RS badge is not something we take lightly and I believe this car proves it”. Strong words, but can Ford’s latest hot hatch match the hype?
Ford has done so much to this car in comparison to a standard Focus that it is difficult to know where to start with the modifications. The engine is still a 2.5 liter like previous models but it has a newly designed turbo, a new exhaust, huge brakes and numerous other tweaks which have upped the horsepower on offer to around the three hundred mark. Despite all this extra grunt available, the RS is still front wheel drive, managing to put the power down effectively thanks to a highly advanced new front suspension set-up which Ford claims prevents the car from torque steering. Beyond that the cars aggressive exterior styling sees the Focus adorned with big, deep side skirts, a massive rear diffuser and a somewhat outrageous looking rear spoiler which really makes the new RS look the part.
So How Does It Drive?
For a front-wheel drive car, the Focus RS has staggering traction. With the power being put down on the road, it doesn’t seem to suffer from under-steer at all. In a straight line, as you would expect, the Focus manages a pretty rapid 0-60 time of 5.9 seconds and 0-100 in about 14 seconds. In spite of the very leery appearance of the car, handling is actually very well-behaved. The driver of the car easily remains in control even when he puts his foot down. It is a surprisingly comfortable ride and a fun toy to throw around on the weekend. The RS certainly has enough comfort and practicality to be used as an everyday car as well.
Whilst fuel consumption and insurance prices are sure to be on the steep side, Ford’s list price for this car certainly isn’t. The car is a real bargain considering it’s performance. Some might say that is too pricey for a modified Ford Focus but under the hood the RS is certainly much more than that. It has been a long wait for the latest incarnation of the RS and this new arrival certainly does not disappoint.
My first cousin Chad just purchased a Ford Transit Connect for use as a work vehicle in his plumbing service. He mentioned to me that it has pretty good storage room for his tools, pipes, and other equipment. He also likes that the Transit’s horsepower didn’t leave him looking like a grandpa on the road. He is a total Ford guy and I believe he’ll slowly add more vehicles like this one to his fleet.
Ford Motor Co. is retaining its good impression regarding its sophisticated engines. Lately, Ford’s all-new 3.5-liter Duratec 35 V-6 engine was named by Ward’s Auto World as one of “Ward’s 10 Best Engines.” Additionally, for the third time now, the automaker’s 4.6-liter, 3-valve V-8 also emerged as one of the best engines in the automotive realm.
“This is an exceptional accomplishment and a testament to our powertrain development process.” said Barb Samardzich, vice president, Ford Motor Company, Powertrain Product Development Operations. “The 3.5-liter engine class is one of the most competitive in the industry, so it is high praise to have our new engine stand out and be among the 10 best in the industry.”
Ward’s 10 Best Engines is an annual commendation of the 10 ‘best’ vehicle engines by Ward’s Auto World magazine. Said commendation, which has started in 1994, chooses the ‘best’ auto engines by taking into account power and torque output, NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) levels, technical relevance and basic comparative numbers.