Special edition hot hatch is a fitting goodbye

The current-generation Ford Focus RS has enjoyed an eventful life since it was unveiled at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. But like all good things, the Focus RS’s time in the sun is about to end. Weep not, though, dear friends, because Ford is giving the hot hatch the proper swan song with the release of the Focus RS Heritage Edition. Limited to just 50 units, the Focus RS Heritage doesn’t dabble in the subtleties. It’s got enough goodies and equipment to make even hardened hot hatch fans tremble in excitement. And, if that little tease isn’t enough to persuade you, maybe the hatch’s bright orange exterior will do the trick.

2018 The Focus RS Heritage Edition is Here to Bid Farewell to the Current Generation
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April 6, 2018. That’s the date the final MkIII Ford Focus RS will roll out of the production facility in Germany

April 6, 2018. That’s the date the final MkIII Ford Focus RS will roll out of the production facility in Germany. When that day comes, we can officially say goodbye to the hoonigan hot hatch. Fortunately, we still have a little over a month before that date so we might as well celebrate the release of the Heritage Edition. We don’t know when the next-gen Focus RS will arrive, but you can bet it’s not going to be for another few years.

The Focus RS Heritage Edition is hard to miss. That’s usually what happens when a car — any car — comes with a Deep Orange paint finish. In addition to its attention-grabbing color, the RS Heritage Edition also features contrasting black door mirrors, a black rear spoiler, and grey brake calipers peaking from behind the black forged alloy wheels. Step inside the interior of the hot hatch, and you’ll be welcomed by part-leather Recaro seats, a heated steering wheel, and privacy glass for those moments where you want some, well, privacy. Stare up at the roof, and you’ll see a nice sunroof that’s also included in the package.

As splashy as these upgrades are, they’re not the headline acts of the Focus RS Heritage Edition. Those distinctions belong to the FPM Mountune power upgrade and the front mechanical Quaife limited-slip differential. The former is made up of a high-flow induction kit and uprated turbo re-circulating and calibration, helping the hot hatch’s 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine increase its output from 350 horsepower to a mouth-watering 375 ponies. Torque numbers also increased from 347 pound-feet to 377 pound-feet, enough to help the Focus RS Heritage Edition accelerate off the line an orange-clad speedster. Ford also focused on improving the hot hatch’s driving experience. That’s where the front mechanical Quaife limited-slip differential comes into the picture.

2018 The Focus RS Heritage Edition is Here to Bid Farewell to the Current Generation
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The Ford Focus RS Heritage Edition is a fitting send-off special edition model for a hot hatch that has made many of us squeal in delight while driving it

Overall, the Ford Focus RS Heritage Edition is a fitting send-off special edition model for a hot hatch that has made many of us squeal in delight while driving it. It seems unfair to think that the next installment of this fiery pocket rocket has no timetable yet, but that’s the nature of the beast. There have been rumors that the RS will make a comeback on the fourth-generation Focus, but we’re not going to get our hopes up this early. The potential for disappointment is there.

For now, let’s celebrate what the MkIII Ford Focus RS meant to all of us. It was the first hot hath to have its very own drift mode, and anybody who has ever gotten to try it out will attest to its pee-inducing capabilities. So if you’re ready to say goodbye to the current-generation Focus RS, there’s no better way to say adieu than to make a run at one of the 50 Focus RS Heritage models that Ford is rolling out. It doesn’t come cheap — price is at £39,895 ($56,000) — but that’s the price you have to pay for a chance to own a future collectible, even if it’s dressed up in a color that would make the sun turn its head around.


Ford Focus RS

2016 Ford Focus RS High Resolution Exterior
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Press release

Ford Focus RS Heritage Edition marks 50th anniversary of the Ford Escort and pays homage to introduction of RS brand to UK
Focus RS production ends 6th April 2018
Final 50 right-hand drive units from Saarlouis plant, Germany will be Heritage Edition
Based on RS Edition with unique ‘Deep Orange’ exterior body colour
RS Heritage Edition features black-forged alloy wheels and grey-finish brake callipers, contrasting black door mirrors and rear spoiler, partial leather Recaro seats and carbon fibre trim, plus mechanical Quaife limited-slip front differential and FPM375 Mountune power upgrade
Final 50 Heritage edition models priced at £39,895
BRENTWOOD, Essex, February 14, 2018 – Ford has announced a limited run of 50 Heritage Edition Focus RS models, exclusive to the UK market, before production stops altogether on 6th April 2018.

Following the announcement of the “RS Red Edition” in December, just 50 RS Heritage Edition models will be produced in a unique “Tief Orange” (“Deep Orange”) body colour, marking 50 years of the Escort nameplate in the UK and commemorating the most iconic model of its line, the RS.

In addition to the Deep Orange exterior colour, the Heritage Edition features grey brake callipers behind black forged alloy wheels and the RS Edition’s trademark contrasting black door mirrors and rear spoiler. It also comes equipped with partial leather Recaro seats, privacy glass, a sunroof, rear parking sensors, power-fold door mirrors, cruise control with speed limiter and heated steering wheel.

All Focus RS Edition models features a front mechanical Quaife limited-slip differential (LSD), providing heightened dynamic sensation for performance driving enthusiasts. The Heritage Edition also gains the dealer-fitted FPM375 Mountune upgrade, increasing overboost power from 350PS to 375PS, and torque from 470Nm to 510Nm, thanks to a high-flow induction kit, uprated turbo re-circulating valve and calibration. The RS Heritage Edition will be priced at £39,895.

Andy Barratt, chairman and managing director, Ford of Britain, said: “The RS brand is hugely important to Ford and is recognised across the globe, however it has a special place in the hearts of UK Ford fans. This latest model is the best RS we’ve ever produced, so it seems a fitting tribute as we approach its 50th anniversary.”

The Focus RS Edition has been developed by Ford Performance engineers and evaluated at locations across the globe to enhance the traction and responsiveness using a Quaife LSD for the front axle.

The mechanical LSD limits engine torque delivered to a wheel that has reduced traction on the road surface, and redistributes torque to the wheel with more traction to counteract the wheelspin that can hamper acceleration and stability.

By controlling the torque delivered to each front wheel, the Focus RS Edition’s Quaife LSD enables drivers to exploit the power delivered by its 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine in high-performance driving situations even more, and integrates with Focus RS driving technologies delivered as standard, including:

Ford Performance All Wheel Drive, which varies the front-to-rear torque distribution to suit the current driving situation – monitoring inputs from vehicle sensors 100 times per second and sending a maximum of 70 per cent of the drive torque to the rear axle
Dynamic Torque Vectoring – which uses electronically-controlled clutch packs on the rear axle to send up to 100 per cent of the available torque to either rear wheel, and can switch drive from one side to the other in as little as 0.06sec
Torque Vectoring Control (TVC) – which automatically applies small amounts of brake force to limit wheelspin at the front axle
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