Ford Focus RS: A beast, but what a feast
I was well aware of all the hype around the Ford Focus RS but since I was not invited to the launch I really just glanced and mmmmd an aaad at the comments of my colleagues. I knew it was good but as usual you don’t get the real feel until you have driven the Ford Focus RS.
I know the BMW M2 has been mentioned and the Mercedes AMG A45, Audi RS3, but since I have driven both of them I did not really believe that the RS was going to rock me. Add to that the base price of R699 000.00 and it looks like the Ford RS is going to be really fighting for sales. Again add that to the costs of the options like Recarro shell seats, sunroof and the price reaches R709 000.00. That being said and only 300 units to be coming to South Africa should have given away what was in store for me.
I had my son bring the RS to me and for the first time, after hearing the sweet bass sound I gave attention to the car itself. In all true forms it is a blue blooded Ford but it was set apart from other siblings by its aggressive body kit those big bore sound enhancers at the back and the big wheels with its low profile tyres.
Brembo brakes have to do the stopping bringing the all-wheel drive, 2.3 litre turbocharged 4 cylinder engine with 257 kW with 440 Nm of torque motor to a quick standstill. By the way this is the same motor as used in the Ford Mustang.
On the inside there is a lack of features, price considered, but the Recarro shell seats do look neat. Finishing is of premium quality, good and functional but a bit Spartan against its rivals.
It was a given that the Ford RS looked the part of being a very fast hatch that should be able to keep up with the pack and maybe more. The more came in the form of a launch control as well as a drift mode (for track only) which sent the RS into a slide like it was made for it. Actually it is made for it but wow, does that eat tyres! The six speed gearbox is excellent, fast and direct with 3rd gear being a real gem as it seems like it never stops and just adds to the blistering performance of this little brute. Ever heard of the term, “six of the one, half a dozen of the other”? Well this is the case with the RS’s performance needing all-wheel drive to handle the torque and the RS being super-fast. Zero to 100kph is reached in 4,7 seconds. The apex of enjoyment is getting to change gears just before it redlines and then feel the kick in the butt as the next gear propels you further to lock up and throw away the key speeds. The Ford Focus plays many a tune through its pipes depending on the different driving modes such as sport or Track and it was sheer pleasure to hear the tune change from bass, to invasion of pops and bangs. It is when you hear all these exciting sounds that you really start to enjoy the RS and do things little boys do with their dinky toys on the floor. It is very hard not to throw the RS into different positions and thus experience the ultimate delight of being behind the steering wheel of a magnificent sport hatch. Handling is really its true strength and the RS just compels you to try and test the limits and then it just blows through whatever you set it to do.
Don’t expect to go far on a tank either. The RS is thirsty even when driven sedately, if that is possible. I ended up on the wrong side of 13 litres per 100 km’s.
I believe you will be changing between Sport and Track mode just for the hell of it and because it brings out the kid in you and it seems like everlasting playtime during a school day. At the end of the day you will be tired as the ride in Sport and Track is harsh on our roads but you will be satisfied with the experience that the Ford Focus RS has given you.
The Ford Focus RS is priced at R699 900. It is sold with a 5-year/120 000 km warranty and a 5-year/100 000 km service plan.
Ford has given their clients a vehicle that is uncompromised, unconventional and aimed at giving unconditional driving pleasure for those that are man enough to take it through its paces. It is not the fastest, the prettiest or the cheapest but it is the most enjoyable of them all on the track where drifting or sliding makes up part of the fun to be had.
For the more conservative amongst us I can promise them that they will get a vehicle that will become a classic, it should not lose value to quickly and to say you own one will not only make other people jealous but you will sort of become an icon or seen as a fundi of real blue blood cars.
My son who studied B Com Aviation and likes to strap the vehicle onto himself was very direct in his comment after discussing what we get for the price. His comment was, “Dad, you get what you pay for even if it is not what others expect. The RS is a performance machine, lacking nothing of what is necessary for sheer enjoyment and having nothing more that will make it a boring premium vehicle”
I rest my case.