2018 Ford Focus RS Limited Edition Review


Price $56,990+ORC Warranty three-years 100,000km Safety five-star ANCAP Engine 2.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol (Euro 5) Power 257kW at 6000rpm Torque 440Nm from 1600-5700rpm Transmission six-speed manual Drive all-wheel drive Dimensions 4390mm (L) 1823mm (W) 1480mm (H) 2648mm (WB) Boot Space 260L Spare temporary mobility kit Fuel Tank 52L Thirst 8.1L/100km (combined – 95RON)

THE FORD FOCUS RS is the 30th vehicle to wear the RS (or Rallye Sport) badge and I'll bet you can't name them all… tick, tock. Noteworthy models include the 16-valve 1970 Escort RS1600, turbocharged Sierra RS Cosworth of 1985, and four-wheel-drive 1992 Escort RS Cosworth. This one is most like the latter.

What is the Focus RS?
The Focus RS arrived Down Under in November 2016 and boasted a bunch of first, including all-wheel drive. The previous-generation Focus RS had been front-drive only and needed a clever front end to deal with torque steer and get the thing to turn corners… which it did, and very well too.

But this current Focus RS is even smarter. The engine, a 2.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, is mostly the same as the engine in the Mustang EcoBoost only the engine in the RS was handed to Cosworth to have a fiddle with. The suspension is much stiffer than Focus ST, there's all-wheel drive and a clever diff (it's not really a diff) at the rear to shuffle torque from side to side. And, in our RS Limited Edition there's a gear-based Quaife LSD on the front axle for "improved" turn-in and grip.

There's a bunch of other bits and pieces that have been added to the RS for this Limited Edition but they're essentially the parts from the Ford-approved Montune kit. Only 500 of these limited-edition models are available in Australia and the list price is $56,990+ORC. This is a price jump of almost $7K on the standard Focus RS.

The Focus RS Limited Edition adds the following benefits above the Focus RS:
  • Quaife limited-slip front differential;
  • Performance Wheel Pack including 19-inch forged alloy wheels with 235/35R19 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres;
  • Active City Stop (Autonomous Emergency Braking);
  • Recaro shell seats with exclusive Nitrous Blue leather application;
  • Nitrous prestige paint;
  • Rear hatch-mounted spoiler, mirror caps and roof finished in Absolute Black; and
  • Privacy glass.

While there are a range of competitors you could cross-shop this thing with, and if I try and list them all, I'll surely miss one out… but the most obvious ones are the WRX STi (often forgotten about these days) which starts its pricing run at $50,890+ORC, The Golf R at $52,990+ORC, and the Honda Civic Type R at $50,990+ORC. Then there are more expensive options, like Audi RS3 and so on.

What's the interior like?
The interior feels much the same as any other Focus, sure there's a bespoke flat-bottomed wheel with blue stiching and an RS start-up screen on the infotainment but the bulk of the stuff you look is the same as any other Focus, and that's either a good or bad thing, depending on what you think the Focus RS should be. It's not in the same ballpark as ‘premium' performance hatches from Audi, Mercedes-Benz, etc but it's on-par with the likes of the Honda Civic Type R but doesn't feel quite as nice inside as the WRX STi which was tweaked recently.

But, for me, the interior is fine (I'm getting too old for a shouty cabin; totally fine with it being shouty on the outside, though) and even with the Recaro shell seats in this RS Limited Edition it's still a practical cabin with room for four or five (in a pinch) people. Beyond the fancy seats which despite the wild bolsters are more figure supporting than figure-hugging which is good unless you're pushing a little harder than normal and then the wide seat back can see the slimmer-boned amongst us move about a bit. The grippy suede-like seat covering does a better than average job of gripping you, though.

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