Society 1 – Cem 0, Focus RS leaves the house

In the 12 months I’ve been living at home, we’ve reported about 6 attempted burglaries.

Latest one was this weekend where the front door to my house was smashed in by a couple of opportunists at 3am. I managed to get a sight of them before they shot off and have provided police with photofit evidence. They reckon they know who it is – so the net is drawing to a close.

However, in my deliberations concerning the continued reasoning of these opportunists, I’ve come to the conclusion that they are perhaps after the Focus RS. As a result, I made a rather hasty decision and sold it back to Perry’s Ford.

Hindsight always does cast a rose tinted projection of the past as I’m already missing it, despite hardly having used the car in the past few weeks.

I still maintain that it was one of the best and most dramatic looking cars on the road. It is positively overflowing with aggression and machismo with it’s bulldog like stance and flared and winged decorations. I wonder if it actually shares any panels with a normal Focus.

I do have a disadvantage, however, in comparing this to other cars of this genre. Fact is, the last hot hatch I owned was back in 1992 when I owned a Mk2 Vauxhall Astra GTE 2.0 8v so as a result, I have no experience in casting any benchmark comparison. I do, however, understand the concept of driver involvement and fun and for that reason, allow me to place judgment…

There seems to be a lot of press lately about the gross exageration of the Focus RS power figures. Although stated at about 305BHP, many journalists are claiming to have dyno’d no more than 275 – bringing it down by 30BHP. Coupled with a 1500kg weight, you’d expect a minor struggle, but it simply isn’t case with a ferociously addictive lunge that reels in cars in the horizon far quicker than any figures should give it credit for. It feels powerful, weighty and absorbed and does not let any of those qualities deter its delicious turn in. Even in the wet, sharp, quick turns of the wheel are followed by obedient, crisp adjustments. It feel dialed in completely, even with my tyres part worn.

But it’s also in the wet where the frustrations start to creep in – unfortunately, it’s pretty much rained the entire time I owned this car. Anything over than 50% throttle will spin the wheels in 1st, 2nd and sometimes 3rd gear – even with traction control on. Now, I don’t normally mind wheelspin, in fact I find it challenging. But in a FWD 300BHP car, it’s simply annoying. You see, the wheels don’t just spin away, the entire front section of the car jumps up and down like an agricultural pile driver. It makes an awfully embarrassing show of itself and I often wonder if people on the outside hear the massive bangs the suspension arms perform as the chin of the car makes out like Bruce Forsythe. It really is unseemly and all it does is stop you from accelerating hard again which kind of ruins the fun.

Another really annoying thing is the bloody mindedness of the entire lux pack 2 system. For a start, why oh why does it not come with the iPhone connecter cable from the begining? I mean what’s the point in providing all the technology and then leaving the owner to then subsequently go out to Ford and buy a £20 cable? No sense. However, that’s only the start of the problem as you try to define some logic in the arbitrary success of the unit. Sometimes it recognises your iPhone, sometimes it doesn’t. Today I spent 30 mins trying to fix the bluetooth, then realising that I’d arrived at my destination. Except the sat nav dropped me off 10 miles away from where I wanted it.

Finally, there’s the build quality, which is appalling. First, I had a large piece of plastic fly out from under the sat nav and land on my lap. I couldn’t fit it back on again so back to dealer. Except this time, the whole dashboard kinda punched itself out by about 2 inches on the left. So it went back to the dealer again, but not before deciding to vomit out all the screws that keep the inner wheel arch linings together (apparently a Ford recall).

However, get a few choice moments behind the wheel where you’ve connected up a couple of tight bends and it simply doesn’t matter anymore as the Focus RS bathes you in waves of comedy character. It’s boisterous fun, it sounds superb and just knows how to show you a good time.

I’m certainly going to miss its immense practicality, with its full 4 seats and massive boot space, with reversing camera, keyless ignition, pray-and-beg bluetooth and ipod connectivity, sat nav and telephone module. If I was in the market for a £25k hot hatch, there would be no contest! But I’m not. I’m in the market for a GT3 aight?

Huge thanks, meanwhile, to Perry’s Ford in Aylesbury who were cracking to deal with.

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