The thing about cars with lineage is that enthusiasts tend to have some pretty strong belief in them; case in point being Ford’s RS division. As the American automaker’s performance arm, the RS division has been mainly responsible for turning Ford’s mundane hatchbacks into immensely fun to drive performance machines. Their most recent creation is the Focus RS – a car that has racked up to 1,500 bookings in the UK without a single test drive being taken.
Having made generations of high-performance models based on the Escort, Sierra, Focus and Fiesta, Ford’s RS division has quite a big fan following in certain bits of Europe. This probably explains the positive response for the latest-gen Focus RS.
The new Focus RS is fitted with the same 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine from the Mustang and in here it produces 315bhp and 433Nm of torque. For the first time Ford has offered the Focus RS with an all-wheel system (developed in house) which can send up to 70 per cent of the power to the rear wheels depending on the situation. The AWD system featuring torque vectoring and launch control function allows the Focus RS to accelerate from 0-100kmph in 4.7sec.
Standard equipment on the car includes 19-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels, 350mm ventilated front disc brakes, RS performance rear spoiler, twin exhausts, bi-xenon headlamps, Recaro front seats and dual zone climate control.
The new Focus RS’ main rival comes in the form of the latest-generation Honda Civic Type-R. Unlike the AWD Ford, the Civic Type R is front-wheel drive only; however, it’s the most extreme model to ever wear the acclaimed ‘Red H’ badge. In fact, it features Honda’s entirely new 2-litre turbocharged VTEC engine that develops 310bhp of power and 400Nm of torque. Both these hot hatchbacks are now on sale in Europe.