The wild Nitrous Blue paint job and roof mounted rear wing make the Ford Focus RS look fast, but this car really has the goods to back up the bling.
Let’s start under the hood. It’s only a 2.3-liter turbo-charged four, but Ford manages to squeeze out 350 horsepower. All-wheel-drive puts the power down.
Stopping it from high speeds are huge race-bred brakes. Extra-strong forged wheels and track tires are a $2,000 option.
Inside, you find a slick shifting six-speed manual, pedals well-designed for track driving, and body-hugging bucket seats, although the seats take up lots of room in the cramped cockpit. There are several drive modes and suspension settings, some dedicated to track driving. The $2,800 RS2 package includes navigation and heated front seats.
Row two passengers get their own door but not much legroom with tall people up front. Cargo space is very good for such a small car, especially after folding row two seat backs.
Performance of the RS is truly exceptional and the car would be right at home on a race track. The loud exhaust, however, and extra-stiff suspension may be too much for daily commuting.
So for the 2017 Ford Focus RS, I say thumbs up to excellent power, great handling, and teriffic brakes; thumbs down to the stiff ride, cramped cockpit and tight row two.
I averaged about 22 miles per gallon. The as-reviewed sticker is $42,245.