Evan J. Smith
Freelancer
May 31, 2017
Photos By: Courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The 350 horsepower Focus RS has taken the market by storm. With turbocharged EcoBoost power and all-wheel drive, the RS offers Rally-inspired styling and amazing all-around performance. Ford Performance has not only produced a winner, it has recognized the interest from fans worldwide. In response, Ford Performance will offer a limited-edition model celebrating the end of RS run.

The special models (1,500 total units) will be an exclusive new version of the critically acclaimed Focus RS for North America with commonly requested options like unique interior and exterior styling, and a new mechanical limited-slip differential. “Our new limited-edition Focus RS represents accessible performance at its finest,” said Jamal Hameedi, Ford Performance chief engineer. “Improving on the thrilling driving dynamics of the Focus RS is no small task, but our Ford Performance engineers have delivered a drivetrain capable of wringing every drop of performance from the engine.”

According to Ford, by controlling the torque delivered to each front wheel, the Quaife limited-slip differential enables 2018 Focus RS drivers to fully tap the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine’s 350 horsepower. The limited-slip differential limits engine torque delivered to a particular front wheel that has reduced traction on the road surface, redistributing torque to the wheel with more traction to reduce differences in wheel spin that can hamper acceleration and stability. In essence, the Focus RS will more easily carry speed through a corner on the track, and allow for maximum acceleration on the way out.

The limited-edition RS will be available in Race Red or signature Nitrous Blue body color, both featuring striking gloss black roof and mirror caps. The rear roof spoiler also features gloss black finish, with blue RS logos on the side wings. The blue theme is continued on the 19-inch premium painted forged alloy wheels that will get blue RS center caps.

“To satisfy strong demand for the ever-popular Focus RS, I’m very excited that we’re bringing this limited-edition vehicle to North America,” said Henry Ford, Ford Performance marketing manager. “We have spent a great deal of time listening to our customers, speaking to owners’ club members, reading comments and suggestions on enthusiast websites, and even studying various forum Photoshop renderings.”

The special RS models will also feature carbon fiber skin on the door handles, handbrake lever and turbo boost gauge surround, while equipment from the RS2 Package is standard, offering black leather-trimmed RECARO seats with Miko-Dinamica eco-friendly suede microfiber inserts and RS logo, heated front seats with eight-way power driver’s seat, heated steering wheel, heated exterior mirrors and voice-activated navigation system.

The new system seamlessly integrates with standard Focus RS driving technologies, including Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive, which varies front-to-rear torque distribution to suit a given driving situation. Amazingly, the system monitors inputs from vehicle sensors 100 times per second and sends an average of 70 percent of drive torque to the rear axle. Dynamic Torque Vectoring (DTV), which uses electronically controlled clutch packs on the rear axle to send 100 percent of an average 70 percent available torque to either rear wheel, and can switch drive from one side to the other in as little as 0.06 second, or about the time it takes a humming bird to flap its wings 4 times.

Torque Vectoring Control, which automatically applies small amounts of brake force to limit wheel spin at the front axle, further enhancing available tractive force. Focus RS Drive Modes, which include Ford-first drift mode for controlled oversteer drifts under circuit conditions, and launch control for ultimate performance off the start line and 4.7-second 0-to-62 mph acceleration. And believe us, both Launch Control and Drift mode are worth the price of admission alone!

Ford stated there will be 1,000 limited-edition 2018 Focus RS performance cars available in the United States and 500 in Canada, with deliveries beginning in late 2017. And Ford reminded us this will be the last opportunity to order the current generation Focus RS in North America.