First UK drive review: Ford Focus RS 2016
Close
Login to Your Account
Ford Focus RS Forum

First UK drive review: Ford Focus RS 2016

This is a discussion on First UK drive review: Ford Focus RS 2016 within the News forums, part of the Site News category; by James Fossdyke, 5 April 2016 Our suspicion that the RS is the daddy of all hot hatches has turned into a certainty. We donít ...

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14
Like Tree10Likes

Thread: First UK drive review: Ford Focus RS 2016

  1. #1
    RS Master VegasChef's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    278
    Member #
    2286
    Liked
    349 times
    Mentioned
    33 Post(s)

    First UK drive review: Ford Focus RS 2016

    Name:  Ford-Focus-RS-2016-Front-Static.jpg
Views: 3664
Size:  73.3 KB

    by James Fossdyke, 5 April 2016

    Our suspicion that the RS is the daddy of all hot hatches has turned into a certainty. We donít do star ratings, but if we did, this would get six.
    The Focus RSí announcement at the beginning of last year feels like a lifetime ago, but the new fast Ford has finally made it to the UK. We were impressed when we first drove it back in February, but can the pitted highways and rigorously enforced speed limits of Britain trip up what we suspect is the best hot hatch of them all?

    Performance

    The first piece of good news is that the transition from left- to right-hand drive has made absolutely no difference to the performance.

    Under the bonnet is the 2.3-litre EcoBoost petrol engine that you can get in a Mustang, and it produces a substantial 345bhp. Thatís about 40 more than the Honda Civic Type R and about 50 more than the VW Golf R, so itís no surprise to find that the RS out-performs both its key rivals.

    With a 4.7-second 0-62mph time, the RS is quick enough to embarrass cars bearing Porsche badges, and itís something youíre instantly aware of the moment you slip into the body-hugging Recaro bucket seats.

    Although the RS is designed to be civilised, thereís always the feel of a road-going racer thanks to the swaths of Alcantara trim and the dark headlining. It never feels to oppressive or drab, thanks in part to the uplifting blue contrast stitching and the 8in touchscreen infotainment unit, but it certainly sends out a message that it means business.

    Give the red starter button a prod and that message is hammered home even more vigorously as the big, turbocharged engine fires into life. Surprisingly, it seems to have a raucous, bassy note thatís missing from the 2.3-litre Mustang, but that could either be down to the comparative lack of isolation and refinement in this stripped-down hyper-hatch or, more simply, our ears.

    Either way, the noise is fitting; a lively, buzzy backdrop to the carís seriously impressive performance. The clutch feels substantial and just a touch heavy, but that just means thereís more feel and more control. Oh, and if you think thatís not for you, then youíll just have to get a Golf R DSG, because Ford is only offering the RS with a six-speed manual Ďbox.

    But what a Ďbox it is. By now weíre all familiar with Fordís incredible record with gearboxes ó theyíve been universally accepted as one of the best in the business for fifty years or so ó and this is another of the American companyís masterpieces.

    Changes are slick and precise, and the slightly shortened throw gives you so much satisfaction from each and every shift. The Type Rís gearbox is decent, but this is in a whole new league.

    On the road

    The handling is much the same, although it must be said that the RS had a bit of a head start on its rivals by being based on the best-handling family hatch around. Normally weíd be dead set against an electro-mechanical power steering system in a hot hatch for which handling is everything, but it has been well executed in the RS.

    Those graduating from standard family hatches like the Peugeot 308 or even a VW Golf might be put off by the fact that the steering matches the heaviness of the clutch, but bear with it, because the extra feel and precision is well worth the workout youíll get when navigating the Sainsburyís car park.

    Of course, the handling is aided by the stunning amount of traction youíll get from the big, sticky tyres (what do you expect at almost £1,000 a set?), the clever electronic four-wheel-drive system and the stiff chassis, but whatever the cause, the effect is the best-handling hyper-hatch on the market.
    When you throw it into a corner fully expecting the front wheels to give up the ghost and the nose to wash out in a deluge of disappointing understeer, the Focus corners as if itís on rails.

    If there is a bias, itís actually slightly towards oversteer. Ford has designed its four-wheel-drive hatch to drive like a rear-wheel-drive car, so the back will step out of line even when the now-legendary drift mode is firmly switched off. Itís alarming when it first happens, but you learn to expect it and then it just becomes part of the RSís lively character.

    So far, then, so good, but now itís crunch time: is the RS comfortable enough for British roads? Itís an important question, because the Type Rís big downfall is the way it clatters and bumps over our pitted country roads, but itís one the RS pulls through.

    For a car in this class, itís absolutely brilliant. We wonít pretend it isnít firm ó at the end of a journey you know the exact magnitude of every lump and bump ó but itís far from harsh and itís certainly no worse than the Focus ST, which is the RSís slightly less hardcore sister. And anyway, this is a driverís car, so the purists in the hot seat probably wonít mind the informative ride.

    Value

    In short, then, the RS is brilliant, but it gets even better when the question of value comes to play.

    The basic car costs £31,000, and for that you get 19in alloys, bi-xenon lights, launch control, Recaro seats, part-leather upholstery, the Focusí 8in touchscreen infotainment system, a heated windscreen and keyless start.

    Ford predicts, though, that the majority of customers will specify around £4,000 of optional extras, ranging from the Nitrous Blue paint seen here to satellite navigation and the Luxury Pack, which provides power-fold mirrors, rear parking sensors, cruise control, privacy glass and keyless entry.

    For those looking to lease, the average price is around £460 per month for personal customers and £385 for businesses.

    The verdict

    Our suspicion that the RS is the daddy of all hot hatches has turned into a certainty. Itís mind-bendingly fast, stunning to drive, well equipped, relatively practical and comfortable enough to be used every day. We donít do star ratings, but if we did, this would get six.

    First UK drive review: Ford Focus RS 2016
    Last edited by Hoonigan; 04-05-2016 at 05:56 PM.

  2. #2
    RS Specialist EcoBoostin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Northern NY
    Posts
    844
    Member #
    1982
    Liked
    396 times
    Mentioned
    10 Post(s)
    Music to my ears!!!
    I'm glad, that here, we don't have to go with the higher optioned package to get cruise control and keyless entry.
    Hidden Content
    It's always better to have it and not need it, than it is to need it and not have it!
    MY16 SG RS1 Standard Wheels & Tires

  3. #3
    RS Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    72
    Member #
    1779
    Liked
    92 times
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    "Our suspicion that the RS is the daddy of all hot hatches has turned into a certainty. It’s mind-bendingly fast, stunning to drive, well equipped, relatively practical and comfortable enough to be used every day. We don’t do star ratings, but if we did, this would get six."

    No surprises here being UK based, but again confirmation that the wait will be worth it! Now when will my 6 star car get there?

  4. Remove Advertisements
    FocusRS.org
    Advertisements

  5. #4
    RS Master The Stig's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Chicagoland
    Posts
    394
    Member #
    2773
    Liked
    324 times
    Mentioned
    11 Post(s)
    Mid-June can't get here fast enough.
    Zeroescence likes this.
    2016 Focus RS, Frozen White, RS1, Mishimoto CAI, COBB/Tune+
    Ordered 2/22/16, Built 6/19/16 (v5), Delivered 9/9/16, already pushing 19,000 miles. I'm lov'in it! Hidden Content

    "...everyone said, just buy a Shelby, but like an idiot, I bought a 40 grand Focus."
    Ya, but what a Focus!!!

  6. #5
    RS Expert Slider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Petawawa, ON
    Posts
    2,186
    Member #
    878
    Liked
    1321 times
    Mentioned
    39 Post(s)
    Amen.
    2016 Ford Focus RS
    Tune+ | ETS | Cobb | Scorpion | Eibach | Mountune | UPR

  7. #6
    RS Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    98
    Member #
    3121
    Liked
    31 times
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Ok so do you guys think that we will be able to hear the turbo without replacing anything? And will car be able to have a blow of valve? I know my friend BMW is not able to because of the set up.

  8. #7
    RS Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    65
    Member #
    2702
    Liked
    44 times
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by slydown View Post
    Ok so do you guys think that we will be able to hear the turbo without replacing anything? And will car be able to have a blow of valve? I know my friend BMW is not able to because of the set up.
    There is a thread in here about the use of BOV....Quite extensive so far and its pretty interesting.

  9. #8
    RS Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    34
    Member #
    2168
    Liked
    13 times
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Man, it'd be nice if any of these reviewers could give us some detail on how the car rides on normal roads or how the clutch and shifter feel. Like review a bit of normal driving on normal roads and how the car would function as a DD. Even just a paragraph in a multi page review.

    I get it, the car is fast and really fun to drive and is made to slide around a track, but I won't be using it that way and neither will 95% of owners. Since I'm sure dealers will refuse to let anyone test drive these things, someone has to tell me how it rides. (would never buy without a test drive though...)

    Quote Originally Posted by slydown View Post
    Ok so do you guys think that we will be able to hear the turbo without replacing anything? And will car be able to have a blow of valve? I know my friend BMW is not able to because of the set up.
    With the open style intake system, I'd bet you can hear the turbo a bit. If not, a standard intake system would probably make the turbo louder like it does in most turbo cars.

    Every turbo car has a BOV. I'm sure you're referring to an atmospheric type instead of the recirculating that is typically quieter. Change the intake and the BOV will get louder as well. But every BOV can be replaced, even the recirc units, if an aftermarket manufacturer makes one that fits. Your friend probably needs new intercooler piping to adapt to an aftermarket standard mount because nobody makes a stock mount BOV for his application.
    Last edited by sunburned; 04-06-2016 at 08:51 AM.

  10. #9
    Supporting Member ControlNode's Avatar
    Supporting Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Eastern NC, USA
    Posts
    2,017
    Member #
    795
    Liked
    754 times
    Mentioned
    42 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by sunburned View Post
    Man, it'd be nice if any of these reviewers could give us some detail on how the car rides on normal roads or how the clutch and shifter feel. Like review a bit of normal driving on normal roads and how the car would function as a DD. Even just a paragraph in a multi page review.

    I get it, the car is fast and really fun to drive and is made to slide around a track, but I won't be using it that way and neither will 95% of owners. Since I'm sure dealers will refuse to let anyone test drive these things, someone has to tell me how it rides. (would never buy without a test drive though...)



    With the open style intake system, I'd bet you can hear the turbo a bit. If not, a standard intake system would probably make the turbo louder like it does in most turbo cars.

    Every turbo car has a BOV. I'm sure you're referring to an atmospheric type instead of the recirculating that is typically quieter. Change the intake and the BOV will get louder as well. But every BOV can be replaced, even the recirc units, if an aftermarket manufacturer makes one that fits. Your friend probably needs new intercooler piping to adapt to an aftermarket standard mount because nobody makes a stock mount BOV for his application.
    Maybe MAF based before turbo inlet, I hear it's bad new to use an atmospheric BOV on that without relocating the MAF.
    NB RS1 Forged/Winter W&T Package

  11. #10
    RS Master VegasChef's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    278
    Member #
    2286
    Liked
    349 times
    Mentioned
    33 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ControlNode View Post
    Maybe MAF based before turbo inlet, I hear it's bad new to use an atmospheric BOV on that without relocating the MAF.
    I would not say bad news, i would just say that it makes the car run slightly rich on shifts. People need to stop freaking out (not you, the people in the BOV thread) about venting to atmosphere on MAF cars, people do it all the time. It does not affect driving whatsoever.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Home | Forum | Active Topics | What's New

Sponsors

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 46
    Last Post: 03-20-2016, 07:10 AM
  2. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-27-2016, 07:16 PM
  3. Replies: 11
    Last Post: 01-23-2016, 10:27 PM
  4. Replies: 15
    Last Post: 01-19-2016, 02:29 PM
  5. 2016 Peugeot 308 GTi Review : Quick Drive
    By Hoonigan in forum Focus RS vs The Competition
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12-17-2015, 06:54 AM