New Focus RS
The latest – and possibly greatest? – addition to the blue oval’s stable.
What better way to kick off our fast Fords special than with the latest – and possibly greatest? – addition to the blue oval’s stable. Due to hit showrooms early next year, the all-new Focus RS promises to be one of the quickest-ever Fords.
If the looks are anything to go by, then it won’t disappoint. The muscular wheelarches, deep grille, bonnet vents and large rear wing all take their cues from the famous Escort and Sierra RS Cosworths.
Inside, the cabin gets heavily bolstered sports seats, a chunky steering wheel and bank of extra dials mounted on the dash top.
But it’s what’s under the skin that really matters. The RS uses a tweaked version of the Focus ST’s 2.5-litre turbo motor, producing 296bhp. To cope with such incredible pace, the front-drive chassis has been extensively revised. The biggest news is a front suspension set-up that’s designed to reduce torque steer, which will help the Focus take the fight to four-wheel-drive rivals from Mitsubishi and Subaru.
We won’t know until next year how good the Focus RS really is. In the meantime, Auto Express has taken a trip through Ford’s history to discover which model is the reigning performance champion.
Model tested: Focus RS
In this review
- 1IntroductionThe Blue Oval’s performance hits From 1963-2009.
- 2New Focus RS - currently readingThe latest – and possibly greatest? – addition to the blue oval’s stable.
- 31st Sierra RS CosworthAs with all the best fast Fords, the Sierra RS Cosworth exists because blue oval bosses wanted to go racing.
- 42nd Escort RS CosworthIf our top fast Fords were picked on visual impact alone, then the Escort RS Cosworth would be a clear winner. With its bulging wheelarches, aggressive nose and wild rear wing, it looks like nothing else on the road.
- 53rd GTIntroduced to celebrate the blue oval’s 100th birthday, the GT has the performance, power and looks to take on exotic rivals from Ferrari and Lamborghini.
- 64th GT40The sunning GT40 took Le Mans victory spoils four times between 1966 and 1969 – and racing pedigrees don’t come much better than that.
- 75th RS200Jaw-dropping styling, fearsome performance and rarity – the RS200 has it all.
- 86th Escort RS1600To the casual observer it might appear to be a humble entry-level model, but the plain looks hide thoroughbred racing mechanicals.
- 97th Escort MexicoWith racy looks, a lightly tweaked engine and a family-friendly saloon body, the Escort Mexico served up a winning blend of performance and practicality.
- 108th Lotus CortinaFor many fans, this is the first fast Ford. With its powerful engine, motorsport pedigree and affordable pricing, it set the template for the blue oval’s future high-performance models.
- 119th Sierra RS Cosworth 4x4It looks like a sober-suited saloon, but beneath this four-door Sierra Sapphire’s low-key lines lurks supercar-rivalling performance.
- 1210th Racing PumaWith bulging aluminium wheelarches, a deep front spoiler and 17-inch multispoke alloy wheels, the Racing version is certainly a head turner.
- 1311th Focus RSWith looks inspired by the firm’s World Rally Championship contenders, the RS is a real head-turner.
- 1412th Capri 2.8iBilled as the car you always promised yourself, the rakish coupé was a sales hit the minute it was launched in 1969.
- 1513th Escort RS2000 MkVShocked to see the MkV Escort RS2000 finish so high up the order? Well, you shouldn’t be – this is a fast Ford through to its very core.