2017 Ford Focus RS Review: The 345-hp Compact Hatchback
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2017 Ford Focus RS Review: The 345-hp Compact Hatchback

This is a discussion on 2017 Ford Focus RS Review: The 345-hp Compact Hatchback within the News forums, part of the Site News category; Is the 2017 Ford Focus RS a true game changer? This 345-hp compact, four-door hatchback can go from track star to practical transporter. By Russell ...

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    2017 Ford Focus RS Review: The 345-hp Compact Hatchback


    Is the 2017 Ford Focus RS a true game changer? This 345-hp compact, four-door hatchback can go from track star to practical transporter.

    By Russell Purcell
    December 19, 2016

    Pros

    Exhilarating performance
    Outstanding all-weather traction
    Sports car handling with seating for five

    Cons

    Premium price
    Interior quality does not reflect the price

    With the introduction of the Focus RS, the Ford Motor Company has brought a game changer to the compact performance category. This potent package packs plenty of punch, and delivers a driving experience that can only be matched by much more exclusive (read: expensive) automobiles.

    Under the hood: Performance + Handling
    Turbocharged, 345-hp engine

    The front-engine, compact, four-door hatchback is powered by a high-spirited turbocharged four-cylinder engine of 2.3-litres in capacity, which produces 345- horsepower, 325 lb.-ft. of torque, and smiles for miles. The all-wheel-drive power train helps keep this rolling dynamo planted to the road surface while you cycle through the gears of its silky-smooth, and very robust, 6-speed manual transmission. No automatic gearbox is available, which will go a long way to cementing this carís status as future performance icon right out of the gate.

    0-100km in 4.7-seconds
    Acceleration is brisk and an exhilarating affair, especially when launch control is activated. In the hands of an enthusiastic driver, the RS can hustle to 100 km/h from a standstill in a respectable 4.7 seconds. Driving with a heavy foot tends to spank your wallet at the pumps, so Fordís engineers have equipped the RSís EcoBoost engine with Auto Start/Stop technology to reduce emissions and save a little fuel at lights.

    4 drive modes
    The Focus RS is a driverís car, so it has been outfitted with four distinct driving modes ó Normal, Sport, Track, and Drift ó to allow the operator to set the car up to match the his or her sporting aspirations as well as road conditions. Parameters such as throttle response, steering, brake feel, suspension damping, and power delivery will adapt to preset programs to help the car perform at optimal levels. Further adjustments can be made in short order to both the suspension settings and the traction control system at the touch of a button.

    Handling
    Handling is communicative and predictable, and the car has been painstakingly engineered to deliver outstanding structural stiffness. A well-sorted chassis, quick ratio steering, and adjustable suspension help deliver one of the most visceral driving experiences available at a seemingly bargain price. Add to this technical voodoo in the form of brake-assisted torque vectoring, and the RS carves through twists and turns with unmatched precision.

    Styling
    The Focus RS features distinctive, but quite understated, styling- which is a good thing given its performance capabilities. The absence of exaggerated and over-sized flares and wings will help you fly somewhat under the radar in this German-born road hooligan, however, the subtle spoilers, vents and body enhancements that are present are all fully functional and aid in improving performance.

    The Nitrous Blue paint on our test vehicle is a $995 option, but it has far more visual impact than any of the other three colours available at the moment, which are the more staid shades of white, black or gray. The blue almost appears to be a matte finish on overcast days, but when the sun shines it comes alive with flecks of gold sparkle.

    Cabin Impressions
    In the cabin you will find RECARO designed, heavily bolstered, sport seats that provide exceptional support whether tossing the car around a track, accelerating like a rocket, or exercising the very confident Brembo brakes. I am happy to report that these leather trimmed, heated seats are also very comfortable, as I took this car on a long distance trip to wine country, and was rested and relaxed upon arrival.

    The interior is based on that of lesser Focus models, but the layout and functionality is very good for a car in this category. All the essential gauges and switchgear fall readily to both hand and eye, and it is easy for the driver to get comfortable in short order as both the seat and steering wheel seem infinitely adjustable (albeit manually). There is a secondary pod of gauges situated above the centre stack on the dashboard that will allow you to keep tabs on turbo boost pressure, oil pressure, and coolant temperature.

    Interior Tech
    Other niceties include a power moonroof, high-definition 8-inch touchscreen with navigation and Fordís SYNC3 infotainment suite, dual-zone climate control, and a premium Sony audio system with 10 speakers. Distinctive 19-inch forged aluminum wheels wrapped with Michelinís ultra-performance Pilot Sport Cup2 tires, heated mirrors, fog lights, perimeter alarm, engine block heater, and a car cover are also standard on the RS.

    Takeaway
    The Ford Focus RS is a really special automobile as it offers its owner two distinct driving personas. The RS is perfectly happy to tool around town providing practical transportation on a daily basis, but it has been so well engineered and equipped that it is just as content to make you look like a hero at the track. In fact, in the latter case, the RS will readily allow you to fight way outside your weight class. Itís that good.

    2017 Ford Focus RS Technical Specifications

    Type of vehicle: Front-engine, all-wheel-drive, compact four-door hatchback

    Price (MSRP): $48,218

    Engine: 2.3-litre, turbocharged, EcoBoost four-cylinder engine

    Horsepower: 345 hp @ 6,200 rpm

    Torque (lb.-ft.): 325 @ 3,200 rpm

    Transmission: 6-speed manual

    Brakes: Four-wheel disc with ABS

    Fuel Economy (L / 100km): City- 12.2L; Hwy- 9.4L

    2017 Ford Focus RS Review: The 345-hp Compact Hatchback
    Last edited by Paolo; 12-28-2016 at 09:33 PM.
    Catafo and GrayRS like this.
    Long live the hero cars
    And here's to the future RS
    2016 FOCUS RS; NB +
    Forged option wheel;
    Ordered 19.01.16;Built 1.9.16;Shipped on Carmen 20.9.16;Arrived Port Kembla 31.10.16;Delivered 8.11.16

    Tyrone Johnson on German rivals:
    "Boring.. Understeer"
    Hidden Content
    Car is delivered Hidden Content Wooooot!
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    2017 Ford Focus RS Review: The 345-hp Compact Hatchback

    Why is the RS rated at a lower HP and torque number outside of the USA? Anyone know?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    NB RS1 Ordered 11/30/16. Estimated arrival: July 2017

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoliDeoGloria View Post
    Why is the RS rated at a lower HP and torque number outside of the USA? Anyone know?
    Yes this is a good question and somewhat annoying. I thought it was a globally car same for all of us around the world?
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    It is the same worldwide, but due to differwnt definitions of "horsepower" around the world, we get different numbers ...
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    Could have something to do with varying quality of fuel as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigFatFlip View Post
    Could have something to do with varying quality of fuel as well.
    This is generally a myth. 95 Octane for the rest of the world is 90-91 here in N.A. Generally the octane levels are similar, just using different measurements.
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    RS Member cheeRS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoliDeoGloria View Post
    Why is the RS rated at a lower HP and torque number outside of the USA? Anyone know?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Typically when you see the "345HP" rating it really means 345BHP or 'brake horsepower'. BHP is used commonly in the UK/Europe whereas 'regular' HP is used in the US. 345BHP = 350HP. BHP is a slightly different way of measuring horsepower.

    350 HP ('Merican) refers to the power that the engine makes, not accounting for any losses.

    350 BHP (British) refers to the power measured (directly or otherwise) by having a brake attached to the flywheel. The flywheel and pistons, friction, etc reduce the number a bit, which is why an engine "having" 345BHP equals 350HP.

    To make it simpler, 350HP is probably around 310 wheel horsepower. Same engine, same real power, just different ways of measuring it. Same deal with HP vs BHP

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    Quote Originally Posted by cheeRS View Post
    Typically when you see the "345HP" rating it really means 345BHP or 'brake horsepower'. BHP is used commonly in the UK/Europe whereas 'regular' HP is used in the US. 345BHP = 350HP. BHP is a slightly different way of measuring horsepower.

    350 HP ('Merican) refers to the power that the engine makes, not accounting for any losses.

    350 BHP (British) refers to the power measured (directly or otherwise) by having a brake attached to the flywheel. The flywheel and pistons, friction, etc reduce the number a bit, which is why an engine "having" 345BHP equals 350HP.

    To make it simpler, 350HP is probably around 310 wheel horsepower. Same engine, same real power, just different ways of measuring it. Same deal with HP vs BHP
    Thank you! Very helpful. I was always curious what bhp truly meant as well.


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    NB RS1 Ordered 11/30/16. Estimated arrival: July 2017

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    Let us not forget about the horse:
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    The author got his numbers wrong. I can see an Ontario plate thus a Canadian review. In Canada it's rated at 350hp 350ft/lbs same as US. Not sure were he found these numbers, UK?
    In Canada we generally use the metric system ie km/hr,L/100km. But when it comes to auto power ratings it's always in ft/lbs and hp
    Last edited by dieselxx; 12-29-2016 at 06:56 PM.
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