For some people, the Focus RS is the Marmite of the car world. There are those that love the beefy, no-nonsense body-kit, the rear spoiler that’s big enough to double up as a surfboard and those sweet-looking 19in multispoke alloys.
On the other hand, you’ve got the individuals that think the only people who should be seen behind the wheel are the ASBO-wielding dregs of society. Shame on them.
Colour it rad
The Focus is available in three body colours. Performance Blue is for the shy and retiring type who thinks he’s too old to own one.
Those who opt for frozen white want people to know you’re driving something special. Ultimate Green (pictured) acts as an attention-seeking, two-fingered salute – not to mention a homing beacon for the fuzz.
Firm but fair, and very fast
The engine used in the RS is the same Volvo-derived 2.5L hub that features in the step-down model, the Focus ST. However, this version has been tweaked to maximize performance and produce 300BHP – a stunning figure for a front-wheel drive car.
To help make efficient use of all that power, the Ford also uses fancy RevoKnuckle technology on its front suspension to increase grip, an uprated suspension system at the rear and a limited slip diff to ensure the right levels of power are delivered to individual wheels under heavy cornering.
The result is a firmly planted, confidence-boosting drive. Push the rev counter to the limit and the Focus’ twin exhausts roar their approval. There’s plenty of pull throughout the rev range and while its forte is carving up B roads, the RS is still a seriously fun motorway cruiser.
The lap of luxury
As standard, the Focus features a Sony radio and six-CD changer with integrated DAB radio. Tick the box for Luxury pack 2 and the Sony system is replaced with a 7in touchscreen DVD navigation system.
If you want the full tech package, there’s an additional option that introduces iPod/USB connectivity and Bluetooth handsfree connectivity. CD playback isn’t particularly refined, but it doesn’t object to being cranked to 11 when the mood takes you.
The handsfree system works seamlessly once your phone is partnered to the car’s Bluetooth connection – calls are answered and dialled through the touchscreen display.
Other techy titbits include dual-zone air conditioning, automatic headlights, rear parking distance sensors and keyless entry.
Whether you like the look of the RS is irrelevant. The fact is that Ford has achieved sensational results from this ultra-quick 163mph rocket and still managed to keep it practical enough for a jaunt down to the your local Dixons.