2017 Ford Focus RS - Hitting The Sweet Spot For An Extra-Spicy Hatch?
Close
Login to Your Account
Ford Focus RS Forum

2017 Ford Focus RS - Hitting The Sweet Spot For An Extra-Spicy Hatch?

This is a discussion on 2017 Ford Focus RS - Hitting The Sweet Spot For An Extra-Spicy Hatch? within the News forums, part of the Site News category; by Sam Abuelsamid, 1 April 2017 Itís been just over four decades since the modern hot hatch was born with debut of the original Volkswagen ...

Results 1 to 2 of 2
Like Tree1Likes
  • 1 Post By Paolo

Thread: 2017 Ford Focus RS - Hitting The Sweet Spot For An Extra-Spicy Hatch?

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Hoonigan's Avatar
    Supporting Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Fayetteville, NC
    Posts
    9,380
    Member #
    31
    Liked
    5448 times
    Mentioned
    474 Post(s)

    2017 Ford Focus RS - Hitting The Sweet Spot For An Extra-Spicy Hatch?

    Name:  2017-Ford-Focus-RS-15-of-22.jpg
Views: 7629
Size:  779.7 KB

    by Sam Abuelsamid, 1 April 2017

    Itís been just over four decades since the modern hot hatch was born with debut of the original Volkswagen Golf GTI. In the intervening years, most other automakers have produced higher performance versions of their compact cars but since the turn of the century a new class of even quicker machines has evolved. Until recently, with the exception of the Volkswagen Golf R, these machines have been forbidden fruit on American shores. Fortunately for enthusiasts, Ford finally homologated its legendary Focus RS and American Honda dealers will soon start delivering the latest edition of the Civic Type-R.

    The first Focus RS to officially come to America is actually the third iteration of the type with the two prior generations coming in the later years of the product cycle for the first and second generation Focus. Ford has followed a similar cadence with the current third generation. Through the course of each generation, Ford has introduced the standard models, followed by the quicker STs that compete against the likes of the VW GTI and Civic Si and then finally a more limited RS run before moving on to an all-new model. With the Gen-IV Focus expected to launch in 2018, time is limited for this RS.

    The RS badge actually dates back to the early 1970s when Ford created the Escort RS1600 and has reappeared periodically ever since. In comparing todayís Focus RS to some of its ancestors, itís fascinating to see how the bar has been raised for performance. One of the most legendary of all RS models was the 1992-96 Escort RS Cosworth. It was specifically developed to provide a basis for Fordís Group A World Rally Championship contender. That four-wheel-drive, high-winged hatchback was powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder prepped by race engine builders Cosworth and put out what was then a very impressive 227-horsepower. Today that kind of output is pretty run of the mill and is easily exceeded by many family cars like the Ford Fusion.

    The Focus RS I just spent a week with is powered by a high-output version of Fordís 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder. In the Lincoln MKC, this engine produces 275-hp while the variant found in the Mustang generates 310-hp. In this Focus, a larger turbocharger and intercooler elevate output to 350-hp and 350 lb.-ft. As with most turbocharged and direct injected engines, this one builds up to its peak torque rapidly, maxing out at 2,000 rpm and staying flat to 4,500 rpm before gradually tapering off.

    The result is an engine that feels much larger than its actual displacement with excellent responsiveness when needed for passing, such as on an uphill grade in northern Kentucky. For those that love the sort of rev-happy engines produced by Honda, GTDI engines like this tend to disappoint with maximum power coming at 6,000 rpm and redline just 500 rpm later. On the other hand if you like something more akin to a big V8, youíll feel more at home in this RS.

    The upside of that broad torque curve is you donít have to shift as much, especially when driving in traffic or around town. Just put your right foot down and it goes. Unlike the Golf R which uses one of VWís dual-clutch automatic gearboxes, the Focus is only available with a six-speed manual. Itís not as slick shifting as the best boxes from Honda but itís easily manageable.

    A proper performance car always needs good seating, especially for the driver and the RS delivers on this count. Recaro sport seats are standard for the driver and front passenger in the RS. Unlike what youíll find in some cars, these have relatively few adjustments, limited to fore-aft, height, seat-back recline and inflatable lumbar. Despite that, it seemed like these seats at been custom fitted to my torso. Iím not as slim as I once was but the beefy bolsters just held me securely in place in front of the wheel without ever pinching. After a round-trip from Ann Arbor, Mich. to Louisville, Kentucky.I had no sore spots. Aside from requiring a bit more effort to get out of, I have zero complaints about these seats.

    Elsewhere in the Focus cabin, the materials donít come across as quite as sophisticated as what youíll find in the VW, but the ergonomics are generally good. The SYNC 3 infotainment system is the best iteration yet and like the previous examples Iíve tried, it was responsive and had a clear, easy to use interface. The voice recognition works as well as any embedded system although it still falls short of the capability of Android Auto or Appleís Siri. Unfortunately, my tester had not yet received the software update to enable Android or Carplay so I had to rely on standard bluetooth streaming for my road trip.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/samabue.../#57c76a1157c7
    2013 #2008,#349 of 2286 in PB ST2, Panda Tuned, Mountune CBE, CAI, DP, re-circ valve, and Strut Tower Brace, FRPP shifter, K&N filter, Steeda rear sway/strut tower bars, 3M clear bra, WeatherTechs w/ST badges, Zunsport grill kit, Tail of the Dragon decal, Hoonigan crash bar!
    2017 Phantom Black Metallic Chevy SS (Holden Commodore)(Wife)
    2015 Tuxedo Black FiST (Daughter)
    2016 Stealth Grey RS2, Dewey: Order placed: 30OCT2015, Built: 3MAY2016, Delivered: 31AUG2016!

  2. #2
    Supporting Member Paolo's Avatar
    Supporting Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    2,696
    Member #
    2129
    Liked
    1627 times
    Mentioned
    72 Post(s)
    Just completing the article...


    The previous generation European RS that was powered by a turbocharged five-cylinder engine from Volvo stuck with front-wheel drive. It was widely regarded by testers at the time as the best handling high-powered front driver ever made. This time around, with even more power and torque, Ford opted to put together a performance-oriented all-wheel-drive system that can direct up to 70% of the available torque to the rear axle. A dynamic torque vectoring system can also direct up to 100% of the torque at an axle to either wheel to help move the car in the direction the driver is requesting.

    With this setup, the only time you’ll ever get torque steer is when you kick out the back end with a hard stab of the accelerator. Some mild power oversteer is available in sport or track mode but if you really want to hang it out, Ford has also built in drift mode that directs maximum torque to the rear so you can pretend you’re Ken Block anytime you want.

    If you’re considering buying a Focus RS and you live in northern climes and you want to be able to drive it year-round, Ford offers an optional winter tire and wheel package. For just $1,995, you get a set of 18-inch alloy wheels mounted with Michelin Pilot Sport Alpin PA4 tires. If you’ve shopped recently for wheels and tires, this is actually quite a good deal and will make a huge difference when the temperatures drop. My tester was still mounted with this package and while it won’t give you maximum grip on dry roads, they certainly helped during the still cold temperatures we had that week.

    With this much power coming from under the hood, you’d expect to have a good soundtrack to go with it and here the RS also delivers. The large dual exhaust outlets produce a surprisingly deep-throated growl under hard acceleration with a nice pop when you lift off. During my time with the RS, Honda released a teaser video of the Type-R that ends with its engine firing up. Compared, to the Focus it has a much raspier note which might appeal to some drivers. Personally I’m quite fond of the Focus growl and importantly for a car that can be a daily driver, it doesn’t have any sort of persistent drone. Compared to some of the cars I’ve driven over the years, despite being there all the time, the Focus exhaust note doesn’t feel like it’s penetrating your skull on a highway run. It comes across as more aggressive than system in the EcoBoost Mustang but still very livable.

    Speaking of livable, for a high performance machine, Ford has done an overall good job on the suspension tuning although it's not quite perfect. Over rough pavement, it’s not exactly supple but it does absorb the sharper inputs. It never feels punishing but you’ll know when you aren’t running on fresh pavement. The one flaw in the RS setup is the same I experienced when driving the ST several months earlier. On certain stretches of freeway that appear to be relatively smooth but actually have some low-frequency, low amplitude waves, the suspension gets a bit excited and feels a bit bouncy. There’s a stretch of I-94 between Ann Arbor and Detroit Metro Airport where this feels particularly pronounced but I also encountered it in some locations in Ohio and Kentucky.

    Overall, if you’re looking for a quick (sub 5-second 0-60) rally-inspired machine that will stand up to a good thrashing without being punishing to live with, the Ford Focus RS worth checking out. With it’s all-wheel-drive system, it doesn’t exhibit any of the front-drive foibles you occasionally get from an ST and because it’s a hatchback, it’s also surprisingly practical when you need it to be with space for five or a whole bunch of cargo with the seats folded.

    At a starting price of $36,000 and $40,225 as tested with delivery charges, this isn’t any economy car any more but it’s very competitive with the Golf R. We don’t yet know how much the Civic Type-R will cost in the U.S. but it will only be available with front-wheel-drive so that’s definitely an important consideration for year-round use. Design-wise, the Focus also falls nicely between the more conservative looking Golf and the touring car inspired Honda. If you want the Focus RS, you probably won't want to wait too long though. By spring 2018 (if not sooner) it will probably be gone and you'll have to wait several more years before a new generation becomes available.
    Adrock likes this.
    2016 FOCUS RS
    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

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: 10
    Last Post: 03-03-2017, 07:19 AM
  2. Replies: 66
    Last Post: 09-27-2016, 07:59 PM
  3. Ford Focus RS: hardcore hot hatch
    By Hoonigan in forum News
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-14-2016, 04:53 PM
  4. Replies: 8
    Last Post: 10-14-2015, 05:15 PM