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Vancouver Auto Chat 2016 VAC Community Head Moderator: Raid3n

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Old 07-05-2010, 11:40 PM   #1
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TG Review: Ford Focus RS500





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Phew, no rain. Showers are always a risk in Germany's Eifel mountains, which is where we're driving today, but fortunately it's a scorcher. Dry weather is crucial to this Ford Focus RS500 - 350bhp and 340lb ft fed through the front wheels is going to make traction a rare commodity, even on smooth tarmac.

The RS500 is the run-out special to the RS Focus. Five-hundred cars will be built, and 101 are destined for the UK. First though, the bad news: all of them have sold out. And that's despite the RS500 costing a whopping 35,650.

To give you an idea of just how popular this car is, Ford's dedicated RS500 website was hacked four days before it was due to go live. In those four days, before the car even officially existed, enough people had beaten down the door of their local dealer demanding a RS500 that Ford could have sold the 101 cars several times over.

Oh, and a word of warning. Not that the Focus RS was ever a car for a bloke who didn't want to be noticed, but prepare to be hassled a lot in the RS500. We took the car to the Nurburgring 24 Hours Race, and I lost count of the number of camera phones pointed at it. It was enough to make me feel a tinge of sympathy for a b-list celeb.

To get the power to 350bhp, Ford has tweaked the ECU, changed the exhaust to give a better flow of air and increased the power of the fuel pump. Other than that, this RS500 is exactly the same as the standard RS, apart from the Batman-spec matt-black wrap on the bodywork.

It's some tribute to the basic Focus that this RS500 still works brilliantly well. Sure, you'll have to drive it carefully over a bumpy back road, or when it rains. But on a good day, with the sun shining and the birds singing, the RS500 is magic.

Honestly, 350bhp in a front-wheel drive car feels manageable. Before I came on the launch, I thought driving this car would be a lesson in self-restraint, but not a bit of it. You can be as much of a hooligan in this thing as you'd hope. It doesn't feel under-braked or like the 350bhp has altered the brilliant balance of the chassis.

Turn in, get on the power, feel the front wheels tug at the steering slightly, your neck strain against the g, and then launch up the road to worry about the next corner. Because the steering is so good, there's enough intuitive feel that you don't have to concentrate too hard. It just links back to you almost by telekinesis.

But here's the real shocker. Because there's now so much more torque in the RS500, pottering around at a leisurely pace is now even easier. So there you go. The most ridiculous hot hatch ever, with more power than the basic Porsche 911, can actually be relaxing to drive.
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:45 PM   #2
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sweet looking focus. Ford an AMERICAN company always sell their best stuff in europe. very sad....
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Old 07-06-2010, 08:09 AM   #3
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sweet looking focus. Ford an AMERICAN company always sell their best stuff in europe. very sad....
its well made over there then in north america!
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Old 07-06-2010, 08:27 AM   #4
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350 wooping power

damn im feeling it

the side looks like STi
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Old 07-06-2010, 08:38 AM   #5
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Looks great but for what they actually did to achieve 350bhp, I'm not to fond of it.

400bhp, awd, turbo monster would be awesome.

Maybe they'll come out with 200, 600bhp, awd, turbo, RS200s - now that would be sweet.
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Old 07-06-2010, 08:49 AM   #6
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sweet looking focus. Ford an AMERICAN company always sell their best stuff in europe. very sad....
Because they can sell 10 cars there while they can only sell 1 here ! Let alone the poor O canadians !
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:01 AM   #7
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Looks great but for what they actually did to achieve 350bhp, I'm not to fond of it.

400bhp, awd, turbo monster would be awesome.

Maybe they'll come out with 200, 600bhp, awd, turbo, RS200s - now that would be sweet.
I agree with you but it seems the glory days of Group B ended a long time ago.
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:22 AM   #8
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The first ford I actually can say I like. Comes matte black from the factory?!

Sounds pretty good too:

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Old 07-06-2010, 09:22 AM   #9
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Looks great but for what they actually did to achieve 350bhp, I'm not to fond of it.

400bhp, awd, turbo monster would be awesome.

Maybe they'll come out with 200, 600bhp, awd, turbo, RS200s - now that would be sweet.
sure who wouldn't want awd and 400hp....would you be willing to spend $100K on a ford?
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Old 07-06-2010, 10:29 AM   #10
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sure who wouldn't want awd and 400hp....would you be willing to spend $100K on a ford?
I'd spend well over that amount on a Ford. On a Ford GT. If I had kind of money.
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Old 07-06-2010, 11:33 AM   #11
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It looks sick..but $70,000cdn for a front wheel drive focus? Wouldnt it be cheaper to just buy a regular focus, mod this shit out of it and paint it flat black? Or buy a new STI, mod the shit out of it and paint it flat black...or buy a new anything, mod the shit out of it and paint it flat black...

..or buy a used M5, 911, M3, etc..
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Old 07-06-2010, 12:04 PM   #12
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It looks sick..but $70,000cdn for a front wheel drive focus? Wouldnt it be cheaper to just buy a regular focus, mod this shit out of it and paint it flat black?
It would never be as well engineered, and in the end you'd just have a modded Focus, not an exclusive RS500. And of course you'd never have a warranty.
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Old 07-06-2010, 12:14 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jeremy_888 View Post
It looks sick..but $70,000cdn for a front wheel drive focus? Wouldnt it be cheaper to just buy a regular focus, mod this shit out of it and paint it flat black? Or buy a new STI, mod the shit out of it and paint it flat black...or buy a new anything, mod the shit out of it and paint it flat black...

..or buy a used M5, 911, M3, etc..
I was pricing one out in Germany and they were 48kCND I believe.

I wouldn't buy one if it came to Canada, torque steer sucks, never dealing with that crap again.

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Old 07-06-2010, 12:32 PM   #14
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i would not spend that kind of money on a fwd car
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:40 PM   #15
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looks nice but i wouldn't spend that kind of money
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Old 07-06-2010, 04:04 PM   #16
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Ford should start the production of their AWD Focus... that would be sweet!
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Old 07-06-2010, 06:02 PM   #17
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It would never be as well engineered, and in the end you'd just have a modded Focus, not an exclusive RS500. And of course you'd never have a warranty.

Thats true

..no doubt it is a cool car, but if I saw one on the street I still think to myself "oh, thats a nicely modded focus"
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Old 07-07-2010, 07:12 AM   #18
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I would be impressed by anyone willing to shell out this much money for a Focus, mind you a wicked Focus...just shows the buyer cares about performance more than anything and is not concerned about badge appeal.....

I am sure the aftermarket could make a faster and better handling Focus for less money, but you will never beat factory tuned performance for,reliability durability, and driveability.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:48 AM   #19
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engine sounds great
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Old 07-09-2010, 10:04 AM   #20
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in case you haven't seen this

how they put together Focus RS500
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Old 07-09-2010, 10:18 AM   #21
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^
saves the matte black vinyl part for anyone at SR auto.
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