Mk2 Ford Focus RS – Bringing Rally Speed to the Street
When the Mk2 Ford Focus RS thundered onto the scene in 2009, it shook competitors to the core by translating full-bore rally aggression into a practical hatchback form. Evolving the genre-busting 2004 Focus RS formula, Ford selected the freshly facelifted Focus as a donor car and then handed development to their rally partner Team RS. What emerged after extensive testing became the definitive hot hatch measuring stick – a street-legal car leveraging brazen motorsports magic with some series production civility.
MK2 Focus RS Borrowing From Rally Royalty
At the business end sat a specially tuned turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder punching out over 300 horsepower. This high-strung powerplant arrived courtesy of Volvo, massaged by Ford’s tuning arm into a potent powerplant.
High-pressure direct injection technology enhanced power delivery and response from idle to redline. Unique engine acoustics amplify the five-pot auditory signature as RPMs rise. A twin-clutch automatic gearbox enabled lightning-fast cog swaps in line with rally-derived all-wheel drive hardware.
Reinforcing Aggressive Aero & Chassis Upgrades
Transforming the workaday Focus into a tarmac terror required extensive modifications optimizing airflow and grip. A functional body kit featuring lowered ride height widened arches, and a rear roof spoiler generates substantial downforce bolstering adhesion when speeds rise.
Upgraded Brembo brakes bring things to a rapid halt with four-piston front calipers chomping 14-inch discs via high-friction pads. Revised front knuckle designs widen the track to minimize understeer. Limited-slip differentials help power leave corners cleanly.
The RS designation mandated engineers sweat every nut and bolt enhancing the rigidity of the standard Focus shell too. Thicker anti-roll bars and stiffer bushings amplify cornering agility without sacrificing ride quality over unavoidable road imperfections. Interlinked dampers combat excessive body roll side-to-side by firming up instantly during aggressive maneuvers. Communicative steering transforms as speeds build, firming up in support of the chassis’ incredible capabilities.
MK2 Focus RS Attaining Hot Hatch Greatness
While rivals chased comfort and counterculture cred, the second-gen Focus RS arrived ready for maximum attack. Impeccably immediate turn-in transitions to easily manage oversteer during hard driving. Supreme chassis balance and explosive powerband keep drivers fully engaged lappingfavorite backroads. Despite its intensely satisfying track-ready talents, the practical hatchback retains Focus civility for grocery runs or daily commutes too.
Upon debut in 2009, journalists immediately christened the Mk2 RS as the definitive hot hatch. It claimed victor status over rival mega-hatches like the Subaru Impreza WRX STI, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, and VW Golf R without breaking a sweat. Plus subdued gray factory colors let the RS surprise unsuspecting challengers off the line.
Thanks to the deft translation of motorsports excellence into series production by Ford’s Team RS, the second-generation Focus RS became a titan among maximum attack road cars.