We’ll start off with the bad news; the brand new Ford Focus RS won’t be arriving on our shores for at least a year yet.
Take it from us, though, it’s really going to be worth waiting for. If you’re the sort of driver who delights in smoking unwitting motorists at the traffic lights and who likes their rock with a side of roll, the new RS is for you.
In fact, it’s gone down so well with car fans that people are already lining up to try and get their deposits in. You can read all about it here, and while you’re eagerly awaiting its release, here’s the top 11 reasons why you can’t just like it, you have to love it.
1 – It has a Drift Mode
If you’re a fan of the Focus RS and you’ve been keeping up with the latest news on it, you’ll probably have heard the phrase ‘Drift Mode’ before.
But what do those two little words actually mean in real terms? Well, Ford says that it’s engineered the Focus RS to transfer as much power to the ground as possible, making it as quick as possible in a straight line.
However, hitting the Drift Mode switch loosens up the stability control and dampers, allowing the rear end to transfer more weight to the sides, which means that the back can swing out in the corners and help you pull off all those insane tyre-shredding drifts. Sweet!
2 – It’s going to be really, really powerful
So far, Ford’s engineers haven’t actually stated exactly how much power the new RS has, but that’s not because they don’t want to.
In actual fact, it’s because they’re still busy trying to wring as much out of it as they possibly can for the craziest output figures possible. Last we heard, it could generate as much as 340bhp or even more, all courtesy of the same 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine as in the new Ford Mustang.
In short, it’s going to be the one really hot car.
3 – Don’t forget those awesome performance components
The new Focus RS will come as standard with four-piston Brembo brakes, the same high-performance brakes that are used in various sporting and supercars, from Ferraris to Corvettes and GT3 racers.
Also optional are some super mean blacked-out forged aluminium wheels, which save as much as half a kilogram of weight each, while the RS also comes as standard with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres, with the option of Pilot Cup 2 tyres, the same as used on halo cars like the Porsche 918 Spyder.
4 – Four-wheel drive, baby!
Ford has also outfitted the Focus RS with four-wheel drive for the first time ever in an attempt to up its on-road abilities even further.
Not just this, but it also comes with new torque vectoring feature, which automatically senses which wheel is the best one to send power to. Wheels with more grip on the road receive more power, while those with looser grip get less to maintain stability.
When you’re just bumbling around town at low speeds, the torque vectoring essentially shuts off power to the rear wheels for better fuel economy, while it even comes with automatic engine start/stop technology.
5 – It has an awesome colour palette
The colour options on the RS are pretty simple; a long way from the retina-scalding bright oranges and greens of the previous generation Focus RS models.
In this respect, it’s slightly more grown up on the outside while it still packs all that familiar insanity underneath the bonnet. So far, you can choose from black, white, flat grey and an amazing eye-catching Nitrous Blue, though more colours might come later on.
6 – Short-throw manual gearbox
For true car fanatics, there’s simply no substitute for a good old traditional manual gearbox. Ford clearly has recognised this, as they’ve eschewed the flappy-paddle automatics of other performance cars in favour of a good old stick.
Not just this, the engineers have upgraded the clutch so that the Ford RS doesn’t have to pull power to protect the drivetrain; it can handle the RS full throttle, all the time. Apparently, the shifter will also have shorter throws than any previous Focus, resulting in super-quick shift times.
7 – It features a dedicated Launch Control
An electronic aid which helps drivers get the very best launch off the starting line that they can, launch control features on many popular sporting cars like the Mustang, the BMW M series and the Bugatti Veyron.
And now, it’s coming to the Ford Focus RS. As well as that, there’s no limiter on it, meaning that you can do as many launch control starts in a row as you damn well, please. But please, spare a thought for your poor clutch.
8 – Super-stiff chassis for super-fun driving
Compared with other Focus models, Ford’s engineers have stiffened the chassis even further to help keep all that power going in the direction you want it to.
Because the Focus RS has so much power and so much grip courtesy of its four-wheel-drive system, that stiffening the chassis helps keep the wheels planted better on the ground, allowing it to go faster and handle even better than it already could.
9 – Recaro seats as standard
All RS-badged Ford cars get Recaro bucket seats, that’s the rule. However, with the new RS, buyers can also specify theirs with plush suede inserts, plus the option of electrically heated and cooled seats, because no automotive hellraiser wants to be uncomfortable.
10 – It’ll be affordable, too
High power doesn’t always necessarily mean an overly high price tag; the new Mustang taught us that.
However, Ford has said that the RS will be priced “competitively” against its rivals and that it’ll be cheaper than the Mustang. As a result, while official pricing has yet to be announced, you can expect the new Focus RS to be priced somewhere between £25,000 and £28,000. Now there’s a bang to buck ratio and a half!
11 – Ken Block helped design it, and he loves it too!
If you haven’t heard of Ken Block, you should really check him out. Rally extraordinaire, he’s responsible for some of the wildest automotive stunt driving ever committed to film with his Gymkhana series.
Not only that, he’s competed in skateboarding, snowboarding and motocross and is even one of the co-founders of DC shoes. In other words, he’s a pretty rad guy.
As if that wasn’t enough to persuade you, Mr Block also had hefty input in the design of the new Focus RS. You can thank him for four-wheel drive, along with the Drift Mode button, by the way.
Not just content to design it, test it and even decide on the colour scheme, he also demonstrated it at its official launch early in February, and he even did it all for free. Just because he loves it. If that isn’t praise enough, we don’t know what is!