Words by David Smith
The Focus RS marked the resurrection of the Fast Ford RS brand. Ford drew inspiration from the WRC Focus rally car during its development. I have owned two examples of the Ford Focus RS, the first one for four and a half years which was sadly lost in an accident last year. The good news is that it was soon replaced with the one I have now, only a few months later. My first one was modified to produce over 300bhp, whereas my current one is totally standard. You’ll find quite a few have been tweaked to release more power, as it’s very easy to do, either with a remap, uprated turbo, or intake and exhaust upgrades. The standard intercooler is good for 300bhp. So why am I on my second Focus RS? It’s mainly due to the respected Ford RS heritage, rarity of the car and also the fact that it looks fantastic on the road.
Walking up to a Focus RS, the cues of Ford RS heritage are very apparent: Flared arches, 18 inch OZ Racing alloy wheels, beefy Brembo 4 pot brakes and a large front bumper intake for engine and turbo cooling – this Focus means business. On the inside: Sparco race seats, RS badges and a build number plaque on the carbon fibre console all give the feeling of excitement, sense of occasion and a rarity factor. You know this is something special before the engine has even barked into life. The start up procedure adds to the drama, get comfortable in the Sparco seat, flip the ignition key to the ‘on’ position and then press a green button labelled “Engine Start”, located on the centre console, just below the gearstick. The 2 litre turbo charged engine bursts into life with a throaty burble from the single large bore exhaust.
I believe the Focus RS is a future classic, they were rare when they were new over 10 years ago and will always be sought after. The mint low miles cars will always command a premium and are sure to increase in value in the years to come as they come onto the market less frequently, RS collectors are snapping them up! Full owners experience can be found in the magazine.
Why buy one?
★The mk1 Focus RS was responsible for the revival of the iconic RS brand.
★Heavy motorsport influence in the development of the car.
★Aggressive styling appeals to many and sets it notably apart from the standard Focus lineup.
Full list of reasons to buy can be found in the magazine.
Full analysis and advice of the ideal specification can be found in the magazine.
Prices vary considerably, from £6,500 to around £18,000 with extreme low mileage concours cars that have probably never seen a wet road commanding the upper price. Full valuation details and examples on the market found in the magazine.
Some parts are shared with the regular Focus models, such as the lights, which keeps their cost down. However due to the limited run of RS cars, new parts that are unique to the car can be hard to source. Full breakdown of prices can be found in the magazine.
The engine has strengthened internals, forged pistons, crankshaft and conrods so the unit itself has proved to be durable. The cambelt should be changed at least every 60,000 miles, ensure there is evidence that this has been carried out even on lower mileage cars as these cars are now over 10 years old. The big issue with the RS is the charge cooler pump. Full breakdown of buyers checkpoints for engine, clutch, gearbox, steering, suspension, brakes, wheels, tyres and servicing schedule can be found in the magazine.
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