RE: Ford Focus RS (Mk1): Spotted

RE: Ford Focus RS (Mk1): Spotted

Sunday 16th December 2018

Ford Focus RS (Mk1): Spotted

Prices for the first Rallye Sport Focus continue to rise, but you can still bag a good 'un for £15k



The next Ford Focus RS is due in 2020 with 400hp from a mild hybrid powertrain, making it a Blue Oval rival for ballistic hatches like the next AMG A45. It'll no doubt be downright rapid, and with an even more intelligent all-wheel drive system, ferociously agile too. But it'll also be a rather large departure from the car that originally established the breed - the Mk1 Focus RS.

Launched in 2002, the first Rallye Sport Focus was a taut and pretty thing, particularly when compared to the cars that followed it. It had neat proportions that were set off by the addition of thicker bumpers, gorgeous 18-inch five-spoke OZ alloy wheels and blistered arches that stretched over a 65mm wider track. It looked purposeful without the lairiness that is now associated with the badge.

It was also quick. Back in the days when Craig David topped the music charts, 215hp from a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine was very healthy. The RS produced its maximum output at 5,500rpm, while torque peaked at 229lb ft 2,000 revs earlier, so it was a fairly elastic motor. Flat out, it could accelerate the car from 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds.


However, putting all the power down through the front wheels did occasionally prove troublesome, with torque steer a common and sometimes defining trait. Although oddly - as some owners will swear blind - this issue didn't plague every car. Course, Ford tried its darndest to ensure the following RS eliminated this with its RevoKnuckle front suspension to lower the scrub radius.

At the very least the manufacturer delivered the first-gen RS with a very sweet chassis. The Mk1 Focus's bespoke setup meant it was firm enough to feel agile and responsive, but never overly harsh or crashy. Coupled with a hydraulic steering system, it created an extremely satisfying front-driver - one that offered lots of grip while making good on the Blue Oval's 'feel the difference' guarantee.

Today, partly thanks to the enduring popularity of fast Ford, the RS remains a desirable purchase. As with just about everything else in that category, prices have crept up in recent years, but, as today's Spotted shows, it's still possible to get a good one for Β£15,000. Although this 2003 car, has been heavily tuned for enhanced performance. It's claimed to output 360hp.


That might be a red flag for some, but any concerns about the work not being done properly ought to be quelled by the knowledge that this particular car is a former concourse winner. That being said, there's no mention of any enhanced differential, which might make putting all that power down, erm, interesting.

Assuming there is a proper LSD in place, however, you could be looking at a RS with the elfin looks of the Mk1 - and performance to seriously worry the forthcoming generation of Ford's endlessly brilliant hot hatch.


SPECIFICATIONS - FORD FOCUS RS
Engine:
1,997cc, four-cylinder,
Transmission: 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 215@5,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 229@ 3,500rpm
MPG: 27.9
CO2: 237
First registered: 2003
Recorded mileage: 40,473
Price new: Β£19,995
Yours for: Β£15,000

See the full ad here

Author
Discussion

lee_erm

Original Poster:

827 posts

141 months

Sunday 16th December 2018
quotequote all
Chris Harris was a fan of these: https://youtu.be/vcSAiRxmm0w

The ST170 is a bargain in my opinion. OK it doesn't have the most engaging engine but it does still has one of the best FWD chassis ever. One can be had for a 15th of the cost of the RS too.

I've always wanted to buy an ST and plop a circa 200bhp Duratec in with ITBs. It could be done for well under 5k.

Thornaby

431 posts

17 months

Sunday 16th December 2018
quotequote all
£15k. No way.

SidewaysSi

6,105 posts

182 months

Sunday 16th December 2018
quotequote all
What does this have over a Megane? Can't think of anything.

Unless you like blue seats and intend to join the Focus RS owners club. Which I am sure is full of normal people.

s m

18,253 posts

151 months

Sunday 16th December 2018
quotequote all
“Assuming there is a proper LSD in place” ???

You mean a plate diff presumably as they had a Quaife torque apportioning diff as standard?

Car-Matt

1,923 posts

86 months

Sunday 16th December 2018
quotequote all
Since when did. Mk1 FRS have a revoknuckle?!?

Some drivel in these articles

Deep Thought

23,956 posts

145 months

Sunday 16th December 2018
quotequote all
SidewaysSi said:
What does this have over a Megane? Can't think of anything.

Unless you like blue seats and intend to join the Focus RS owners club. Which I am sure is full of normal people.
hehe

David87

5,371 posts

160 months

Sunday 16th December 2018
quotequote all
Dodgy article. Beautiful cars, but wouldn’t much fancy this modified one. Technically inferior to newer, cheaper rivals, but I don’t really care. I had one back when they were new; wish I’d never sold it (especially comsodering what it’d be worth now!).

SidewaysSi said:
Unless you like blue seats and intend to join the Focus RS owners club. Which I am sure is full of normal people.
rofl

DoubleD

9,816 posts

56 months

Sunday 16th December 2018
quotequote all
The interior is a bit naff looking, but at least the exterior is quite nice. Its a far more exciting looking car than the current bland one.

KingNothing

2,490 posts

101 months

Sunday 16th December 2018
quotequote all
SidewaysSi said:


Unless you like blue seats and intend to join the Focus RS owners club. Which I am sure is full of normal people.
The only thing I hate about owning a Focus RS, is other Focus RS owners. If they're not bragging about how little they actually drive the car to keep the mileage down (on a Ford Focus), they're trying to clag as many extra RS badges onto their cars by buying every accessory under the sun, only if it is adorned with an RS badge.

lee_erm

Original Poster:

827 posts

141 months

Sunday 16th December 2018
quotequote all
SidewaysSi said:
What does this have over a Megane? Can't think of anything.
Independent rear suspension. As opposed to the Renault's ox cart derived solution.

Turbotechnic

589 posts

24 months

Sunday 16th December 2018
quotequote all
These are great cars but my Megane 225 trophy embarrassed my mates focus RS both in a straight line and on the twisties.

SidewaysSi

6,105 posts

182 months

Sunday 16th December 2018
quotequote all
KingNothing said:
SidewaysSi said:


Unless you like blue seats and intend to join the Focus RS owners club. Which I am sure is full of normal people.
The only thing I hate about owning a Focus RS, is other Focus RS owners. If they're not bragging about how little they actually drive the car to keep the mileage down (on a Ford Focus), they're trying to clag as many extra RS badges onto their cars by buying every accessory under the sun, only if it is adorned with an RS badge.
Yep. Ford RS owners always seem you have a screw loose. A very odd bunch IME.


SidewaysSi

6,105 posts

182 months

Sunday 16th December 2018
quotequote all
lee_erm said:
SidewaysSi said:
What does this have over a Megane? Can't think of anything.
Independent rear suspension. As opposed to the Renault's ox cart derived solution.
Maybe but it did it no help whatsoever as the Renault slaughters it as a driver's car.

ZX10R NIN

15,733 posts

73 months

Sunday 16th December 2018
quotequote all
SidewaysSi said:
Maybe but it did it no help whatsoever as the Renault slaughters it as a driver's car.
The Megane R26 F1 does not slaughter a MK1 RS but the R26 R is a better car but look at their prices.

Mike1990

734 posts

79 months

Sunday 16th December 2018
quotequote all
I think these look fantastic still, infact they get better with age it’s nust pity the Interior doesn’t though! But that wouldn’t stop me from buying one.

For me though, they need to be 100% stock to fully appreciate it.

It’s also a shame that the RS owners brigade are dribblers. laugh

Jamescrs

484 posts

13 months

Sunday 16th December 2018
quotequote all
I used to own one and it was a brilliant car, the only car I've ever regretted selling.

lee_erm

Original Poster:

827 posts

141 months

Sunday 16th December 2018
quotequote all
SidewaysSi said:
Maybe but it did it no help whatsoever as the Renault slaughters it as a driver's car.
That's just conjecture though. Find a review to support that claim. I reckon you'll struggle.





DoubleD

9,816 posts

56 months

Sunday 16th December 2018
quotequote all
lee_erm said:
SidewaysSi said:
Maybe but it did it no help whatsoever as the Renault slaughters it as a driver's car.
That's just conjecture though. Find a review to support that claim. I reckon you'll struggle.
Read doodsyfrs post above yours. Im not agreeing or disagreeing about "slaughtering" a car, but he does say that his Renault rode better.

J4CKO

28,617 posts

148 months

Sunday 16th December 2018
quotequote all
lee_erm said:
SidewaysSi said:
Maybe but it did it no help whatsoever as the Renault slaughters it as a driver's car.
That's just conjecture though. Find a review to support that claim. I reckon you'll struggle.
It doesnt matter though, one has a Ford RS badge and the other a Renault badge and for a lot, that is all that matters, now I quite like the whole RS thing but the demographic who own them do seem to be as tribal as any bunch of rabid football supporters, more of a religion for some and a lot seem incapable of seeing any virtue in any other brand or model of car, even new RS models are slagged off as modern/plastic, takes them 20 years or so to accept new models. Mk1 Escorts are like the holy grail, they love videos of them going round in circles, I used to but now I am not sure whether they can drive in straight lines.

Focus RS mk1 though, look where mk3 RS Turbos have gone price wise, any Mk1 or Mk2 Escort, Sierra and Escort Cosworths, even the Fiesta RS Turbo, it doesnt seem like these have gone that mental yet by RS Standards, and these were better in many ways than those that went before, cant see them getting cheaper.

SidewaysSi

6,105 posts

182 months

Sunday 16th December 2018
quotequote all
lee_erm said:
SidewaysSi said:
Maybe but it did it no help whatsoever as the Renault slaughters it as a driver's car.
That's just conjecture though. Find a review to support that claim. I reckon you'll struggle.
For similarish money you are into 265/275 Cup territory which would slaughter the old Ford. If it is Ohlins equipped then even more so.

An R26 is about a third of the price of the Focus so in today's money not really a competitor.