In what must have been some sort of twisted marketing ploy, the great American automaker Ford had an Ultimate Green Ford Focus RS sitting at the beginning of their display at the 2009 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Honestly, as you turned the corner expecting to see more Mustangs than you can shake a stick at, there it was, a 300 HP turbocharged lime green Focus wearing a set of wide arches, 19 inch multi spoke rally inspired RS wheels, vents in the fenders and hood as well as a wide mouth front bumper.
At first the neon paint acted like a magnet drawing in your eyes. As anyone who has ever been behind the wheel at speed can tell you, you end up going where your eyes are looking, and we weren’t alone. We literally had to shove through the crowds and hold back attendees just to get a clean shot of Ford of Europe’s greatest creation. Hopefully Ford’s marketing team were hiding behind the curtain somewhere like the wizard of Oz just so that they can understand just how much of a demand there is for this machine right here in the U.S. however we might just settle for an RS Fiesta.
The Ford Focus RS is one of the most coveted cars in all the land, after all there is nothing like a turbocharged sport compact that will smoke most modified rides in real world situations and plus it looks like the World Rally Car you see on TV. Even if the Focus RS is the most fun to drive blue oval branded vehicle on the planet, as is in the world of tuning there is no such thing as enough. So the team of engineers at WolfRacing feel that they can do the hot hatch one better with a few simple yet effective modifications tho the engine, drive train and suspension.
Starting out with a revised engine management program for the 2.5 Liter five cylinder engine that boosts engine output from the stock 305 HP and 324.5 lb-ft of torque up to a maximum of 360 HP and 412 lb-ft of moving force. WolfRacing’s tried and trusted competition experience has led them to understand that a well rounded car is about more then just big power figures. A locking differential makes the front wheel drive demon behave in a more civilized manor, giving the driver full use of the turbocharged engine’s power no matter whether you are accelerating full throttle or one wheel up on the rumble strip deep into a turn. Speaking of hitting apexes, WolfRacing also ensures that their version of the Focus RS will get more grip with a fully adjustable coil over suspension. Catering to the tastes of every automotive enthusiast. For the show car winners WolfRacing makes a set of 20 inch wheels to fill out the RS’s wide fenders and for the racing chaps, lightweight 18 and 19 inch forged alloys.
Even if the Euro only Ford Focus RS is the most powerful blue oval hatchback available at the moment, as is in the world of tuning, there is no such thing as enough. So the German tuning firm Loder1899 feels that they can do the hot hatch one better with a few simple yet effective modifications. First of all Loder begins by bringing the Focus a few inches closer to the ground and then fills the arches with a variety of high performance wheel and tire combinations to sort out the handling aspect of the RS before reworking the turbocharged 2.5 Liter five cylinder power plant.
1899 replaces the factory intercooler with a more efficient intercooler and a set of tuned manifolds to make sure that the Focus RS can make the most of the air it takes in before letting it breath a little easier with a free flowing exhaust system fed by a set of less restrictive Sportkats. The new parts are good to boost the Focus RS from a factory rated 305 HP and 325 lb-ft of torque to an impressive 370 HP and 383.5 lb-ft of thrusting force. Thanks to the newfound ponies, the RS can hit a top speed of 168 MPH. We say, good job.
It is definitely not one of the fastest cars at Nurburgring, but is always a pleasure to watch the Ford Focus RS in action!
The Focus RS is powered by a 2.5L 20 V DOHC RS engine that delivers 300 HP at 6500 and a peak torque of 325 lb-ft. The RS can make the 0 to 60 MPH sprint in under 5.9 seconds and hit a top speed of 163 MPH.
The Brits at Top Gear have just put the latest Euro-only hot hatch from the blue oval through its paces at their test track. Now BBC premier Jeremy Clarkson adores the Ford Focus RS for its 300 HP despite the inconvenience of torque steer, but it is that little Richard Hammond who contests the rally inspired turbocharged Ford Focus with his favorite, the Renault Megane R26R.
Unfortunately there is no word on the Focus RS making its way into U.S. dealerships anytime soon, but if the Fiesta Rally cars scheduled appearance at the X-games are an indication, the American automaker may have some sort of fun to drive car straight from the factory on its way.
The Ford Focus RS is a Euro-only treat that both blue oval and sport compact enthusiasts would be happy to have in their garage, and would most certainly sell quite Focus hatchbacks destined to wear similar WRC inspired body kits just like the limited edition RS model wears. As we all know, lead car in the video is powered by a 2.5 Liter five cylinder boosted to 1.4 bar, making 300 HP and 325 lb-ft of torque. This little hot hatch can sprint to 60 MPH in just 5.8 seconds and has been compared with other turbocharged bargain super cars like the EVO and GT-R.
So this makes us wonder, what kind of car is chasing the RS?
Let us know what you think by posting a comment below.
The question being asked by Fifth Gear spokesman Tiff Needell, is what kind of a car can keep up with the Ford Focus RS? Fellow Fifth Gear presenter and BTCC champion Jason Plato brought along a brand new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X to help him find out. The European hot hatch and the Japanese rice rocket were put up to some head to head competitions that included a high-speed stability test, with penalty kick, and a timed lap around a proper handling circuit. So which car wins out, the turbocharged 300 HP Focus RS with its touring car setup, or the rally bred all wheel drive 4B11 powered Evo X. Watch the video to find out for yourself.
Our friends over at Drivers Republic have just made a comparison test between two of the most powerful hatchbacks on the European market, Ford’s rally inspired Focus RS and Renault’s wild Megane R26.R. Which hot hatch reigns supreme? You’ll just have to watch the video to find out.
We apologize for getting your hopes up about seeing the rally inspired Focus RS in Ford dealerships here in the U.S., and despite the company’s Executive Vice President, Mark Fields telling me that “anything is possible” with a reserved grin on his face, apparently a U.S. spec RS is not.
Apparently the Focus RS that was spotted in Michigan wearing manufacturer plates was nothing more than a false alarm. The official word was handed down by Jost Capito, the man in charge of Ford’s global performance division. In an interview with AutoCar magazine, the Ford representative said that "we’d like to [bring the RS to the U.S.], but the base car isn’t homologated for North America and that’s too costly a job to carry out just for a niche vehicle like the RS."
So if you were saving up your paychecks to go out and pick up a Focus RS as soon as it came stateside, we were sorry to get your hopes up. The way that things are looking, it is more likely that you will be able to purchase a Fiesta Sport than Ford’s latest hot hatch.
When Ford announced plans for their factory tuned Focus RS they also reveal the hot hatch will be limited to just 4000 units. So, if you were hoping to snatch one up, but you still haven’t, we have some bad news for you. 2400 of the Ford factory hot rods have already been sold. If you are still interested, you have two options: wait six months and hope there will still be a few examples laying around, or fork over a pretty pound to get one.
Those mostly affected by the news are the blue oval enthusiasts in the U.K. Their stock has already been depleted. So if you go down to your local Ford dealership and make the payment, you will have to wait until December to get behind the wheel. Or you could check out the used car market, there are a few examples around, but they start at around £27,250 and already have about 500 miles on clock.
Whereas we here in the U.S. are still waiting for the big wigs at Ford to give the RS a shot here in the American market.