Winter toy – Ford Focus RS
Now THIS nobody expected – not even me.
Have always loved this car from launch. Even after having seen it at the Geneva motorshow for the first time, I was smitten by how ridiculously agressive the design was, from its drooping fat chin, to its over exaggerated spoiler on the boot. It was basically a charicature of the hot hatch and in no way could it be launched in concept trim!
Except it was.
I need a car to enjoy over the winter and what better way than a White Focus RS. Nearly new with 2k miles on the clock, the Focus RS is a pretty special play toy. With over 300 BHP and 325 ft/lb torque, any hard acceleration can simply be regarded as nothing other than comedy! I know for a fact that I’m going to be chewing through tyres in this car. Slam your foot down in 2nd, 3rd or even 4th and your arms suddenly start wrestling with the wheel as it tries to break free from its shackles and throw itself out the window in a glorious escape to freedom. It’s also ridiculously cheaply made. I’ve already had bits of plastic trim from the facia fall off in my hand. But then, this is a £26k car. It’s basically a Ford Focus 1.4 underneath, only with anabolic steroid abuse.
Have you ever seen such an aggressive front before?! It’s positively drunk and off its face and you look it in the eye and you’ll be guaranteed to house a bottle in your temple before the nights out.
So, agressive looks, hyperactive steering – is there anything that is vaguely normal about this car? Actually, no. Weirdly enough, it’s about 100kg heavier than the GT3, weighing in at about 1500kg. So it’s not light, but without appearing blatantly predictable, it’s actually pin sharp in delicacy and pointedness. Even in damp conditions, roundabouts are adhesive and it’s only with aggressive use of mid-corner throttle does the car look you in the face and shout ‘LOL PHYSICS’.
There’s something wonderfully endearing about owning a £25k hot hatch. With a 90k GT3, you can’t talk to people about it without them thinking you’re a wanker. The Focus RS is the Barry McGuigan of the car world, a people’s champion, not concerned about false pretences but merely tasked with getting a job done without compromise.
It’s also got a wealth of toys that put the GT3 to shame, especially given its price tag. Reversing camera, touch screen sat nav, keyless entry and go, ipod connector etc. Those seats are also pretty darn rad.
I’m at Silverstone this weekend with a bunch of others in hot hatches – the GT3’s are being left at home. This time, I don’t mind so much :)
Oh and watch this bleeding video!