Editor: Jason “The Bok” – Date: 26 May 2017
Some month’s back Ford South Africa made a huge splash when they introduced the Focus RS to the market. In what had to be one of the biggest announcements of 2016, Ford brought the most power Focus ever to South Africa. Post the launch during a hot hatch week which I was having, I was fortunate enough to spend time driving three very impressive flaming hatches, the new Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport, Honda Civic Type R and this the much anticipated Ford Focus RS.
I have always had a special place in my heart for Ford’s in-house performance tuning division. In typical Ford style, the ST and RS models maintain a sense simplicity, practicality and affordability and couple all of this with blistering performance and fun.
Much like a living and breathing organism, the magic behind the Focus RS comes from its beating heart. With an engine which delivers 257 kW and 440 Nm of torque, the RS is more supercar than a family hatch. Only a couple of years back you needed to get into a supercar to achieve 0 – 100 km/h in a lightening quick 4.7 seconds, now its achievable in what can be mistaken for a semi-toned down family hatchback. Only subtle hints like its spattering of RS badges, large wing, large twin tailpipes and Brembo brake calipers hint at its performance.
The Ford Focus RS features roughly the same 2.3-litre engine which features in the new Ford Mustang, only here it is 10% more powerful and really shouts when you give it some boot.
Despite feeling a bit harder on the road than say a focus bearing the Ford 1.5-litre Ecoboost, the RS remains an easy car to live with and still remains a practical family hatchback. The clutch is a bit heavier than that say of the Focus ST and the driver, passenger seats are rather firm as they are Recaro, but apart from this, the Focus RS remains a standard Ford Focus with all the real-world practicality.
The vehicle includes ISOFIX mounting points for child seats, climate controlled air-conditioning, Ford Sync Multimedia with USB slots and Bluetooth, 6 airbags around the cabin and even traction control stability management, but you best be warned, this family car does have a bit of a split personality and needs to be handled with care.
When driving on slippery surfaces or taking corners quickly, you really can feel exactly where the chassis is at all times, in keeping with a true driver-focused machine that is the RS.
The Focus RS features an incredibly sophisticated drivetrain which is developed by top automotive firm GKM. With an advanced double-clutch system, the Focus RS sends the exact amount of power required to each individual wheel where the power is required. This system gives the Focus RS the ability to be driven in a spattering of drive modes including one which especially sets up the dampening for racetracks and one known as drift mode or as I would rather call it “Maniac Mode.” The Focus RS has to be one of the most “chuckable” hot hatches ever created!
The Ford Focus RS is certainly one of the most anticipated cars to be released worldwide within the last 12-months. This is the most powerful focus ever and in true Ford style, it manages to deliver supercar performance for a supermarket price tag.
SA Pricing, Servicing & Warranty
R699,000 with the option of adding the bold Recaro bucket seats (R1890), Power Sunroof (R6870), Metallic Paint (R750). Apart from these few options, the car is very well specced as standard and includes the very sporty Brembo brake callipers.
The vehicle comes with a 4-year/120 000 km warranty. A 5-year/unlimited kilometre corrosion warranty, 3 years’ worth of roadside assistance and Ford’s 5-year/100 000 km service plan with intervals every 20 000 km.