I don’t know about you, but I remember the good old Fords from my day, like the Ford Escort RS1600i and the bonking mad Escort RS Turbo Mk1.
I myself had an Mk1 Escort Mexico for about three years. It broke down all the time – and every morning I was greeted by the smell of wet carpets because of the leaking windscreen rubber that my local Ford dealer back then told me they couldn’t fix due to me not having any money to pay for the work to be done.
The result of this was that every few months I had to visit the welding shop, because another piece of the floor had rotted away. But you know what? No car has ever made me feel as alive at the wheel as that old Ford did – and I doubt I will ever get the chance to own another one as the prices now for an Mk1 Mexico are just gigabucks.
Of course all these Fast Ford’s had one thing in common, they were all fantastic. I also know that they were all driven by men with peanuts for brains – and that most of these cars all suffered a similar fate. They were all driven at considerable speed into some rather large trees – and that’s the reason why you will struggle to find a good example of an old Ford from that era. If you do happen to come across a good example – it will cost you so much money that you will need to sell most of your body parts to purchase it.
Happily though Ford has just introduced a new and updated version of the Focus RS and I have to say that it is probably the most eagerly anticipated Fast Ford for a number of years.
So what better way to find out what the new Focus RS had to offer by taking a drive to the picturesque town of Ross-on-Wye in the wonderful part of Herefordshire -where you will find some of the best driving roads and scenery you are ever likely to come across – and some of the friendliest people I have ever had the pleasure in meeting.
Also if you do fancy travelling a little bit further afield I would recommend you visit the Forest of Dean, the Brecon Beacons, the Black Mountains and the Malvern Hills because they are all just as stunning.
Power and Efficiency:
Powered by an inline four cylinder 2.3 litre Eco Boost turbocharged engine with 440Nm of Torque – 350PS of Ford Power, a 0-62 time of around 4.7 seconds and a top speed of around165mph.
The New Focus RS also gets Ford’s Performance All-Wheel Drive system that is frankly staggering – and if that’s not enough you also get four drive modes to play with; Normal, Sport, Race and Drift Mode, which is frankly the most fun you will ever have with a Focus RS.
Fuel economy, in case you’re interested, is around the 28mpg, although I have to say – you don’t buy a car like this to complain about how thirsty it is or how much it costs to fill the tank.
Design & Technology
Following in the footsteps of all its predecessors, the Focus RS comes with the normal hot hatch styling inside and out. Also, being a Fast Ford – It also looks like it’s had Botox & Collagen implants, and that might not suit everyone – but one thing I can assure you of is that it drives brilliantly.
As with all Fast Ford’s you get all the Electronic Wizardry that you can shake a stick at: but also some very tricky technology such as Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control which helps keep the grip levels to maximum and a great deal of precise cornering abilities. There is also race inspired suspension components in the form of Ohlins – to improve road holding even on uneven road surfaces. Also by selecting ‘Track Mode’ you get two-mode switchable dampers allowing you a firmer setting when you really do want to get that little bit naughty on the race track.
Inside is like a normal Focus but with extra gauges and Recaro seating along with some nice little ideas like the little rubber door edge strips that pop out from just inside the door edge to protect it from damage and then retreat back inside once the door is closed. That feature alone will make you go all tingly inside.
On the road:
The Focus RS feels fantastic, and has the most outstanding driving dynamics and power-to-weight ratio that I have ever felt. Also, no matter what mode you decide to ‘play’ the Focus RS will keep you entertained for what can only be described as possibly the rest of time.
This car also stops as well as it goes – and that’s thanks to its massive Brembo four-piston monoblock calipers and 350mm ventilated front discs – which deliver a powerful and progressive feel, while dissipating heat for confident, fade free breaking. They are so good in fact – that after 30 minutes of playful driving the RS had given me some serious neck fatigue, plus I don’t think any of my internals are firmly intact anymore. Also, I want to say that the driving position is almost perfect – as is that 6-speed manual transmission.
To sum up:
All in all Ford have once again created a remarkable piece of engineering with the new Focus RS. Hats off to the boys from Ford for making all my dreams come true. I for one will be looking to buy such a beast in the very near future.
Ford; Thank You and Welcome Back!
Price: (from) £31,250