February 12, 2018
FORD’S HOT HATCH
— 2018 Ford Focus RS
by Jim Corbran
I came away from this year’s Buffalo Auto Show with a short list of things to buy if I ever win the lottery. If I ever start playing, that is. Over the next few weeks we’ll take a closer look at my choices, in no particular order.
This week we’ll focus (tee-hee) on a strikingly electric blue entry from the blue oval folks which sat in the corner of the upstairs exhibition hall— the Focus RS.
I don’t imagine I fit into the usual demographic that the marketing people envisioned when they unleashed the latest RS model to the public. But here I am, loving those side-hugging Recaro® heated leather-trimmed seats, those 19-inch black-painted alloy wheels, and the 2.3L EcoBoost engine which puts out 350 hp. Even better that it’s connected to Ford’s Performance All-Wheel Drive with dynamic torque vectoring.
A couple of things we should probably mention here. With an MSRP of $41,995 it’s not exactly cheap (especially when compared to another car on my wish list, the VW GTI). But the list of standard equipment is longer than the patch of rubber you’ll lay with the RS: besides what we’ve already mentioned above, Ford includes a six-speed manual transmission, dual-zone climate control, heated outside mirrors and leather-wrapped steering wheel, a Sony audio system with voice-activated touchscreen navigation and SiriusXM with HD, Ford’s SYNC 3 voice-activated technology, fog lamps, Michelin Super Sport summer tires... the list really does go on.
Except for paint color. Someone at Ford decided that the only two colors which would interest potential RS buyers are Racing Red and Nitrous Blue (about the bluest blue in all of car-dom). And they also assume you’re okay with a monochromatic black interior. Yes, it all looks good, but a few more choices wouldn’t kill them.
I’m not usually one for zoomy rear spoilers, but the one on the RS is much less obnoxious (IMO) than those on the Honda Civic R and Subaru WRX STI, which in my mind are getting close to Plymouth Superbird territory (bottom of page). The good news is, for 2018 Ford is painting the spoilers gloss black, which makes them even less visually obtrusive.
The all-wheel drive makes the Focus RS an ideal candidate for year-round driving. Ford offers a winter tire package for $1,995 but shopping around will probably find you a better price than that. The package is one of the very few options even offered on the RS (thus its high MSRP). As a matter of fact, the only other extra-cost option I could find while building my own RS on Ford’s website was a power moonroof ($895).
The bad news is (hey, where there’s good news you know there’ll be bad news!) Car and Driver magazine tells us in their RS report that 2018 is the final year for the Focus RS, and there will be only 1,000 produced for the U.S. market, along with another 500 for Canada.
I’d better start buying those lottery tickets now.
Build your own Focus RS, and get more details, at ford.com
Next week: Honda Ridgeline
The post “FORD’S HOT HATCH
— 2018 Ford Focus RS”
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