Mark Twain once said that “continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection“ and with the release of the Focus RS Limited Edition, I couldn’t agree more. When Ford set out to improve what is already a cult performance vehicle amongst enthusiasts, they reached out to customers from around the globe to gauge what enhancements they’d like to see on their hyper hatch. The people have spoken, loud and clear.
I’m currently sitting in one of 500 of the Limited Editions at a race circuit at Sydney Motorsport Park, running through the package: 19 inch forged alloy wheels, Michelin Pilot Cup 2 tyres, Recaro Shell seats, Nitrous Prestige Paint, Absolute Black exterior details, Quaife Limited Slip Differential… on paper, the developments were quite impressive. But Ford Australia deemed it necessary to test the hyper hatch out on the circuit, and I happily obliged.
It only took a few corners to reap the rewards of the Quaife LSD. Traction was noticeably improved and power transfer smoother thanks to the differentials gear based mechanics. The crazy levels of grip in the standard RS have somehow reached insanity on the L.E thanks to the Michelin Pilot Cup 2 rubber. Carrying a bit too much speed into corners? No worries, the AWD system just seems to pull you back wherever you are pointing (even if your neck isn’t quite ready). While the 257kW 2.3 – litre EcoBoost power plant and six-speed manual transmission remain faithful weapons in the Limited Edition’s arsenal.
As fast and as capable as the RS is, what’s more impressive is just how fun this car is. Sure, there is a lot of very intelligent engineering systems running throughout the car, but they are never invasive. A solid manual gear box, a beautifully balanced drivetrain and punchy little engine, all make for one of the most entertaining driving experiences you can have on the market, period. A wet skid pan and quick selection of “ drift “ mode probably wouldn’t be a daily routine, but when given the chance, you’re guaranteed a car full of laughs (and the occasional scream).
It’s no surprise why the RS was crowned MOTOR magazine’s 2017 Bang for Your Bucks Champion. And it won’t be a surprise when all 500 of the Limited Editions sell out quickly. At $56,990 I believe they are worth every dollar for every smile for every joy ride you and your passengers will inevitably experience. It’s a credit to all those at Ford for intelligently improving what was already a successful recipe, and for listening to their customer base to add the cherry on top. This truly is a Focus RS of the people, by the people for the people.