The 2010 Ford Focus RS seems a bit out of place in the market right now, as performance models of standard vehicles are not doing too well sales-wise. The average tuner who would normally be drooling at a souped up Focus is spending money on food and rent, not aftermarket body parts and performance upgrades. That being said, the Focus RS is still a slick looking hatchback with a lot of power under the hood, and those are the sorts of things that demand attention in the auto world.
When it comes to the tuner hatchback scene, there are four main contenders: the Audi A3, the VW GTI, the Subaru Impreza, and the Mitsubishi Evo Lancer. The Focus RS settles right in the middle of these models. It doesn’t quite have the interior design and attention to detail of the A3 or GTI, but for drive quality its pretty close. Compared to the Impreza and the Evo Lancer, the Focus RS stands head and shoulders above, boasting more power and better handling.
Beneath the hood of the Focus RS is a turbocharged five-cylinder 2.5L engine that produces 305 hp paired with a six-speed manual transmission. Ford states that the RS can go from 0 to 60 in just a hair under six seconds, but an aggressive driver on a drag strip should be able to do it in about five.
Style-wise, the Focus RS makes no attempt to be something other than it is. The front end looks like something straight out of a tuner catalog, and the arc over the air dam and wrap-around headlights give the impression of an angry sneer. Put the front end of the Focus RS next to the painted nose of an A10 Warthog jet fighter and you’ll see more than a passing similarity. Add to that wide dual tailpipes, 19 inch wheels, and a slick spoiler, and you’ve got a pretty impressive package.
The Focus RS is no slouch around the corners, either. A limited-slip differential and a tuned suspension gives the car firm footing while turning and impressive response to the throttle. While this doesn’t seem out of place on a tuner car, the RS does it without an all-wheel drive system like those found in many of its brethren.
There is one piece of bad news about the Focus RS, though: it’s currently only set to be available in European markets. So unless Ford has a change of heart, Stateside drivers won’t have a chance to try one. There is a bit of a silver lining, though. Due to Ford’s current economic condition, the company is planning to consolidate is different divisions in the coming year or so. This means that the offerings in American and European markets will start to share more models. Hopefully, the next version of the Focus RS will hit American dealerships.