RE: Ford Focus RS (Mk3) | Spotted

RE: Ford Focus RS (Mk3) | Spotted

Sunday 11th August 2019

Ford Focus RS (Mk3) | Spotted

The Mk3 RS was a 350hp hooligan back in 2016 and it remains so today - for a few grand less



The GT may be the poster boy of modern Fords and the Mustang GT500 might be the most powerful, but you could argue that none have done more to impact the broader market than the Mk3 Focus RS. When the 350hp all-wheel drive hot hatch arrived in 2016 with some fandangled new thing called Drift Mode, traditionalists spat in disgust – but others (us included) revelled in the ability to mix all-wheel drive performance with rear-biased silliness. This was a time when all-wheel drive hatches were largely of the point and shoot variety, so to meet a car that asked to be rotated at every opportunity was a real breath of hooligan air.

Since the RS’s torque-juggling system – developed by British engineering firm GKN – we’ve been given performance BMWs and Mercs that boast drift modes of their own and S model Audis that rotate on the throttle. Whether those cars were in the pipeline before the RS arrived or not, the fact remains that it was the car which started the modern trend. And Drift Mode only forms one portion of what makes the RS such an exciting proposition; it also flaunts plenty of natural dynamism, along with serious punch from the intake noise-dominated 2.3-litre turbocharged four-pot up front.


Ok, so 350hp and 324lb ft of torque weren’t class leading numbers even back in 2016, but for a car that retailed for a fiver less than Β£30k, it felt like a performance bargain. The AMG A45, for example, had an extra 31hp but cost Β£10k more. And AMG’s old 45, as rapid as it was, had none of the adjustability offered by the latest car – the dynamic improvements of which we can probably trace back to the Drift Mode-wielding Mk3 RS – meaning those after excitement not restricted to straight roads would naturally be drawn to the Ford. Such was our hunger for the five-door super hatch in 2016 that Ford had to raise the UK’s annual allocation by 1,000 units.

The car has, of course, a number of drawbacks. First and foremost, the optional and excellent Recaro seats are mounted far too high. The 2.3-litre, as lovely as it is to operate at full pelt, is on the thirsty side, plus the car’s ride is firm – particularly so at low speeds. Then there’s the design, which is too lairy for some and not lairy enough for others. The RS is unapologetically brutish outside, although inside it’s a fairly bland mix of previous-gen Ford architecture and RS accents. But all is forgiven when it’s given a chance to prove its worth on a road, illustrating that the development effort and budget was focussed on the stuff underneath rather than the bits stuck on top.

Given all that, prices for used RSs have unsurprisingly remained strong, with substantial differences in mileage seemingly having miniscule impacts on the asking prices of used cars. With the Mk3 RS now more than three years old, some cars will no longer be covered by Ford’s original warranty, but the condition of the cars listed on PH’s classifieds do appear remarkably good. Barring a small handful of exceptions, it seems prices are still too high for a wave of modification to take hold of the Mk3 RS market just yet.


Take today’s Spotted, for example, an early Frozen White RS with a fair 16,000 miles on the clock – some of which we assume have been accumulated hammering around the stunning country roads of the Isle of Man – thatcar has received work from a recall, which we assume (but a buyer ought to double check) is related to the head gasket switch to stop engines from drinking coolant fluid. And with a large number of options fitted, it looks like a smart buy both in terms of usability and long-term value.

It’s certainly a lovely looking example of Ford’s significant Mk3 RS, one that’s clearly come from an owner caring enough to keep those wheels spotless and take some very nice sunrise pics in the process of posting this ad. The first question to come up if we were viewing would therefore be: β€œWhy the sale?”


SPECIFICATION - FORD FOCUS RS

Engine: 2,261cc 4-cyl turbo
Transmission: 6-speed manual, four-wheel drive
Power (hp): 350@6,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 324@2,000-4,500rpm (347lb ft with 'transient' overboost)
CO2: 175g/km
MPG: 36.7mpg
First registered: 2016
Recorded mileage: 16,000
Price new: Β£29,995
Yours for: Β£24,980

Click here for the full ad

Search for a Ford Focus RS here

Author
Discussion

cerb4.5lee

Original Poster:

15,192 posts

135 months

Sunday 11th August 2019
quotequote all
Whilst I wouldn't say no to this I do prefer the styling of the previous two generations. I don't like the understated design of this one as much.

Any car that has Recaro seats has me smitten though. cool

Dave Hedgehog

12,802 posts

159 months

Sunday 11th August 2019
quotequote all
"Then there’s the design, which is too lairy for some"

who? 70 year old jaguar driving beigists?

its a pretty subtle hot hatch design IMO

very impressive depreciation

Augustus Windsock

2,064 posts

110 months

Sunday 11th August 2019
quotequote all
Seat too high?
JCR-Developments do a kit that lowers the Recaro shell seats by 55mm iirc. May not sound a lot but it seems to make all the difference and be a popular mod....
https://www.jcr-developments.com/jcr/product/mk3-f...

Maldini35

2,429 posts

143 months

Sunday 11th August 2019
quotequote all
Not a fast Ford fan but one of these in a restrained colour could really tempt

Baileyk

75 posts

19 months

Sunday 11th August 2019
quotequote all
Dave Hedgehog said:
"Then there’s the design, which is too lairy for some"

who? 70 year old jaguar driving beigists?

its a pretty subtle hot hatch design IMO

very impressive depreciation
I believe the design was due to ford adopting what they called a ‘one ford policy’ where the RS and certain other models (mustang) would be available in all countries (the rs for instance was never officially sold in the USA prior to the mk3).

Hence why the looks were toned down for the mk3 compared to the mk2. Also saved on production costs I suspect.

TomTVR500

249 posts

116 months

Sunday 11th August 2019
quotequote all
Two things that have really put me off these things. The frankly unforgivable weight of them and all the horror stories of the 2.3 Ecoboost engine having major mechanical failures if used as intended.

timrud

219 posts

128 months

Sunday 11th August 2019
quotequote all
These are painfully unreliable and have a terrible interior.

They do show what a fantastic car the Golf R is in comparison.

Mike1990

788 posts

86 months

Sunday 11th August 2019
quotequote all
I’d love one. Preferably with the FPM375 kit.

FN2TypeR

7,062 posts

48 months

Sunday 11th August 2019
quotequote all
Augustus Windsock said:
Seat too high?
JCR-Developments do a kit that lowers the Recaro shell seats by 55mm iirc. May not sound a lot but it seems to make all the difference and be a popular mod....
https://www.jcr-developments.com/jcr/product/mk3-f...
Bargain!

samoht

1,336 posts

101 months

Sunday 11th August 2019
quotequote all
TomTVR500 said:
Two things that have really put me off these things. The frankly unforgivable weight of them and all the horror stories of the 2.3 Ecoboost engine having major mechanical failures if used as intended.
Can you think of anything else from this decade with five seats and a boot, ~350hp and 4wd which is meaningfully lighter?

Gez79

113 posts

138 months

Sunday 11th August 2019
quotequote all
If you go off quoted figures then the Golf R and S3 are both well over 100kg lighter, the Ford tips in at 1600kg and the vag stuff is quoted at between 1400 and 1473kg.

Also I seem to remember that most write ups and you tube videos seem to show the RS struggling to match it's quoted acceleration times, whereas the Golf and Audi always seem to be slightly quicker than quoted.

Not suggesting they're better cars but they certainly seem to be better value used. 25k for a 3 year old focus seems a bit steep to me. Especially when it wasn't top of the hot hatch heap when new

Midgster

418 posts

189 months

Sunday 11th August 2019
quotequote all
FN2TypeR said:
Augustus Windsock said:
Seat too high?
JCR-Developments do a kit that lowers the Recaro shell seats by 55mm iirc. May not sound a lot but it seems to make all the difference and be a popular mod....
https://www.jcr-developments.com/jcr/product/mk3-f...
Bargain!
At £550, if you break it down to £100 per cm, or £10 per mm it doesn't seem to bad getmecoat

Ahbefive

11,657 posts

127 months

Sunday 11th August 2019
quotequote all
timrud said:
These are painfully unreliable and have a terrible interior.

They do show what a fantastic car the Golf R is in comparison.
Mine has been almost totally reliable other than a sticky exhaust valve. It still has over 2 years of the 5year warranty left.

Now the head gaskets have been repaired they are reliable as pretty much anything.

The Golf R in comparison is a boring slug of a car, good if you don't enjoy involving driving but not as similar as someone like yourself that clearly hasn't driven an RS might think.

Ahbefive

11,657 posts

127 months

Sunday 11th August 2019
quotequote all
Gez79 said:
Especially when it wasn't top of the hot hatch heap when new
What hot hatch are you saying was better in 2016? For me I still don't see any hot hatch that is currently on sale as better. Hot hatch, sharp to drive, good interior and all the modern tech, awd with a rwd bias and a manual gearbox, there us still nothing at all similar for sub £30k that I would replace mine with.

timrud

219 posts

128 months

Sunday 11th August 2019
quotequote all
Cars that were better in 2016:

A45
RS3
S3
Golf R
Megane

You just can't escape the cheap and nasty interior of the Ford. I can see why it appeals to a certain demographic, who don't mind sub standard quality when blinded by the Ford RS brand.

oobster

6,312 posts

166 months

Sunday 11th August 2019
quotequote all
Ahbefive said:
timrud said:
These are painfully unreliable and have a terrible interior.

They do show what a fantastic car the Golf R is in comparison.
Mine has been almost totally reliable other than a sticky exhaust valve. It still has over 2 years of the 5year warranty left.

Now the head gaskets have been repaired they are reliable as pretty much anything.

The Golf R in comparison is a boring slug of a car, good if you don't enjoy involving driving but not as similar as someone like yourself that clearly hasn't driven an RS might think.
I've owned my MK3 RS for nearly 2 years and it's been completely reliable, no issues whatsoever. Head gasket recall done, which (admittedly) was annoying but courtesy car for a week made it less hassle.

FPM375 addition from Mountune is a decent and popular modification.

My Readers Cars thread here: https://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&...

JamesL

78 posts

107 months

Sunday 11th August 2019
quotequote all
timrud said:
Cars that were better in 2016:

A45
RS3
S3
Golf R
Megane

You just can't escape the cheap and nasty interior of the Ford. I can see why it appeals to a certain demographic, who don't mind sub standard quality when blinded by the Ford RS brand.
By certain demographic I assume you mean driving enthusiast.

I went with the civic in the end but I was very tempted by these. The golf / s3 whilst very good cars were so sterile in comparison and would be down below the flawed M140i in my personal list.

Johnnytheboy

20,118 posts

141 months

Sunday 11th August 2019
quotequote all
I'm in Golf R and Focus RS groups on FB. The R group seem to spend much more time talking about them breaking down.

That's when they aren't endlessly going on about stage 1,2,3, bruv.

PeterGadsby

1,159 posts

118 months

Sunday 11th August 2019
quotequote all
Ive had my Ford Focus RS 2017 since new, and absolutely love it. Only reliability issue I had was the sticking exhaust valve, which was fixed at service & the A/C deciding it was -18c outside on a boiling hot day (it reset itself).

Even my wife enjoys driving it (she never likes the cars I get usually)

- Pete

Scribble BM

34 posts

22 months

Sunday 11th August 2019
quotequote all
Only a very brave soul would buy one of these out of warranty! The amount of engine issues these cars have seems to have gone under the radar very well.

I have a friend on his 3rd engine at 23k miles!!!!!