Only 1,500 models will be made and they’re all for North America

The current-generation Ford Focus has given plenty of thrills in spills in the five years that it’s been in production. But now that the existing Blue Oval hatchback is ready to call it a day in 2018, Ford is commemorating the generation switch by bidding adieu to the performance-oriented Focus RS the only way it knows how: a special edition, swan-song model that’s limited to just 1,500 units in North America.

Officially called the Ford Focus RS Limited Edition (couldn’t think of a better name there, Ford?), the exclusive hot hatch comes with plenty of significant improvements over the standard RS counterpart, none more important than a properly functioning technical Quaife limited-slip differential. Yes, Focus RS lovers, our dreams have somewhat come true, albeit in very limited quantities. That issue notwithstanding, the addition of the limited-slip diff is significant for people, myself included, who have cried out to Ford to give the Focus RS the requisite component that makes cornering at high speeds even more of a delight. As awesome as the current generation Focus RS has been, the calls for more front-end grip have never dissipated. Now Ford’s delivering on the request and it’s on us now to reciprocate the gesture in kind. So, to whoever ends up with any of the 1,500 units of the Focus RS Limited Edition, do us a favor and drive the wheels off of it. We’ve all waited long enough.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Ford Focus RS Limited Edition.

What makes the Ford Focus RS Limited Edition special

2018 Ford Focus RS Limited Edition Exterior High Resolution
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The addition of the Quaife mechanical limited-slip differential on the front axle is a huge deal for the Focus RS.

Ford said that when it was thinking of ways to end the production of the Ford Focus RS with a bang, it took to the people whose opinions on the car mattered the most: the fans. It’s not a surprise then that when asked for their opinion, the people came out and spoke of the need for a limited-slip front differential on the hot hatch, one that can allow drivers to maximize the Focus RS’ full potential.

So, Ford listened to that request and delivered the goods. The addition of the Quaife mechanical limited-slip differential on the front axle is a huge deal for the Focus RS. Not only does it integrate smoothly with the car’s AWD system, but having the LSD on the front axle means that the torque coming from the 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder can be properly distributed to the wheel getting the most grip also getting more torque from the engine. That significantly enhances the achievable grip levels, particularly in corners or, you know, when “Drift Mode” is activated and used to its full capacity.

2018 Ford Focus RS Limited Edition Exterior High Resolution
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The limited edition Focus RS now comes in a choice of two colors: the all-too-familiar Nitrous Blue paint finish and the new Race Red color.

That addition to the Ford Focus RS is significant enough to warrant its own “limited edition” label. Fortunately, it’s not the only request Ford granted to its fanbase. Apparently, “RS-heads” also wanted the hot-hatch to come in a splash of red. So Ford acquiesced and the limited edition Focus RS now comes in a choice of two colors: the all-too-familiar Nitrous Blue paint finish and the new Race Red color that’s being offered as an option.

That’s two requests being addressed on the limited edition Focus RS, and regardless of the color that a customer chooses, this exclusive hot-hatch will come with standard gloss black treatments on the roof, mirrors, and spoiler. Speaking of standard equipment, the Focus RS Limited Edition also comes with plenty of new standard equipment, not the least of which is the full menu of options included in Ford’s RS2 package from the standard Focus RS. Also included is a generous amount of carbon fiber trim that can be found on the door handles, handbrake lever, and turbo boost gauge. A new set of 19-inch painted forged alloy wheels is another welcomed addition, as are the blue RS center caps on the wheels.

More goodies can be found in the interior of the hatchback. These include black-trimmed Recaro heated seats, a heated steering wheel, heated mirrors, and voice-activated navigation. All these components come as standard issues on the exclusive Focus RS, whereas they were part of the optional RS2 Package before.

2018 Ford Focus RS Limited Edition Interior High Resolution
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More goodies can be found in the interior of the hatchback. These include black-trimmed Recaro heated seats, a heated steering wheel, heated mirrors, and voice-activated navigation.

It goes without saying that the Ford Focus RS is now better equipped to be the full-spec, hot-hatch people always hoped it would be. It still gets standard power, though, but with the car already boasting 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, I don’t fancy future owners of the car to have any issues getting the most out of the car with all the technical upgrades it has. The new Quaife LSD may not be a fancy-sounding addition for most people, but for enthusiasts of the hot-hatch who speak intelligently on what the hot-hatch is missing, it’s nothing less than a game-changer.

Too bad, then, that only 1,500 units are going to make available for the 2018 model year. Of that total, two-thirds (1,000 units) are earmarked for the U.S. and the remaining third (500 units) will go to the Canadian market. The automaker has yet to release pricing details for the exclusive Focus RS, but with the base variant of the RS priced at a little over $36,000, expect the limited edition, goodbye-to-the-current-generation version to fetch north of $40,000. It’s a little steep, but if it means getting the version of the Focus RS that we’ve been wanting for so long, it’s a small price to pay for the fun of owning and driving one.

Press release

Ford Performance fans talking to each other and posting comments online about the Ford Focus RS hot hatch performance car have led to a special 1,500 unit limited-edition celebrating the end of run of this generation hot hatch.

Passion from the enthusiast community led Ford to introduce an exclusive new version of its critically acclaimed Focus RS for North America. Ford was listening.The new 2018 Focus RS limited-edition hot hatch adds a few commonly requested features that unique interior and exterior styling, and a new mechanical limited-slip differential.

Available in new Race Red or signature Nitrous Blue body color – both featuring striking new gloss black roof and mirror caps. The rear roof spoiler also features gloss black finish, with blue RS logos on the side wings. Now standard are 19-inch premium painted forged alloy wheels with blue RS center caps.

2018 Ford Focus RS Limited Edition Exterior High Resolution
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From the cockpit, the door handles, handbrake lever and turbo boost gauge surround are wrapped in carbon fiber skin, while equipment from the RS2 Package is standard, offering black leather-trimmed RECARO® seats with Miko-Dinamica eco-friendly suede microfiber inserts and RS logo, heated front seats with eight-way power driver’s seat, heated steering wheel, heated exterior mirrors and voice-activated navigation system.

To really excite driving enthusiasts, the global Ford Performance team developed a standard mechanical Quaife® limited-slip differential for the front axle that further improves Focus RS performance. This limited-edition Focus RS will more easily carry speed through a corner on the track, and allow for maximum acceleration on the way out.

“To satisfy strong demand for the ever-popular Focus RS, I’m very excited that we’re bringing this limited-edition vehicle to North America,” said Henry Ford, Ford Performance marketing manager. “We have spent a great deal of time listening to our customers, speaking to owners’ club members, reading comments and suggestions on enthusiast websites, and even studying various forum Photoshop renderings.”

2018 Ford Focus RS Limited Edition Exterior High Resolution
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A tight grip on performance

By controlling the torque delivered to each front wheel, the Quaife limited-slip differential enables 2018 Focus RS drivers to fully tap the 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine’s 350 horsepower. The limited-slip differential limits engine torque delivered to a particular front wheel that has reduced traction on the road surface, redistributing torque to the wheel with more traction to reduce differences in wheel spin that can hamper acceleration and stability.

“Our new limited-edition Focus RS represents accessible performance at its finest,” said Jamal Hameedi, Ford Performance chief engineer. “Improving on the thrilling driving dynamics of the Focus RS is no small task – but our Ford Performance engineers have delivered a drivetrain capable of wringing every drop of performance from the engine.”

The new system seamlessly integrates with standard Focus RS driving technologies, including:

Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive, which varies front-to-rear torque distribution to suit a given driving situation – monitoring inputs from vehicle sensors 100 times per second and sending an average of 70 percent of drive torque to the rear axle
Dynamic Torque Vectoring, which uses electronically controlled clutch packs on the rear axle to send 100 percent of an average 70 percent available torque to either rear wheel, and can switch drive from one side to the other in as little as 0.06 second – or about the time it takes a humming bird to flap its wings 4 times.
Torque Vectoring Control, which automatically applies small amounts of brake force to limit wheel spin at the front axle, further enhancing the tractive force available
Focus RS Drive Modes, which include Ford-first drift mode for controlled oversteer drifts under circuit conditions, and launch control for ultimate performance off the start line and 4.7-second 0‑62 mph acceleration

2018 Ford Focus RS Limited Edition Interior High Resolution
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Coming to a track near you

Only one thousand limited-edition 2018 Focus RS performance cars will be available in the United States and 500 in Canada, with deliveries beginning in late 2017, marking the last opportunity to order the current generation Focus RS in North America.

The limited-edition Focus RS joins Ford’s iconic Ford Performance vehicle range in North America, alongside the recently launched Ford GT supercar, F-150 Raptor, and much-loved Shelby GT350 Mustang, Focus ST and Fiesta ST.

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