Where’s the Focus RS? Why Ford’s Hottest Hatch, Which Seemed a Shoo-In for 10Best Accolades, Failed Even to Make the Cut

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Where’s the Focus RS? Why Ford’s Hottest Hatch, Which Seemed a Shoo-In for 10Best Accolades, Failed Even to Make the Cut

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Where's the Focus RS? Why Ford's Hottest Hatch, Which Seemed a Shoo-In for 10Best Accolades, Failed Even to Make the Cut

by the January 2017 issue

The Ford Focus RS? the idea’s back at the prison yard, its work-Discharge program suspended after the idea shanked a guard as well as also went drift mode across the warden’s lawn. This kind of will be a car of which inks its own tats, as well as also some of them are on its face.

the idea’s not of which we don’t appreciate the Focus RS, a car built to satisfy a hard-core niche of driving enthusiasts, the ones who know who Kalle Grundel will be as well as also daydream about importing a Lancia Delta Integrale. We love of which there’s a Focus with 350 horsepower as well as also all-wheel drive. yet sometimes more will be just more. The Focus RS will be a contestant on The Voice who sings at 126 decibels. the idea’s a Gillette razor with seven blades. the idea’s Joey Chestnut eating 25 pastrami sandwiches in 10 minutes. Oh, we’re definitely impressed. yet you can be impressed by Joey Chestnut, we suppose, without necessarily wanting to marry him.

Those staffers who’ve flogged the Focus RS on racetracks found of which the mean streets of Michigan bring out a much different side of the auto’s personality. inside the context of 10Best testing, which includes roads of which are paved entirely with frost heaves, the Focus’s playful brattiness turns ugly. Over bumpy sections of the 10Best loop, the suspension feels as if the idea’s made of pogo sticks. The optional Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, which help the RS deliver 1.04 g’s of grip, hunt as well as also wander on rutted pavement.

Where's the Focus RS? Why Ford's Hottest Hatch, Which Seemed a Shoo-In for 10Best Accolades, Failed Even to Make the Cut

Its Recaros were evidently molded around Popeye’s longtime ­­girlfriend, Olive Oyl. One driver likened the tilted-back seating position to a dentist’s chair; another gratuitously invoked the word “coxswain.” If your Lululemon pants are stretched near to transparent, you’ll certainly want to find a different car.

“the idea has lots of grip, lots of power, lots of noise, lots of fun.
yet I have only minimal desire to own the idea.”
— Tony Quiroga, Senior Editor

Drift mode, the RS’s most curious performance feature, represents the conundrum presented by more for the sake of more. Yes, we want to encourage engineers to indulge their whimsy, especially when they’re explicitly endorsing juvenile tire-smoking behavior. as well as also yet . . . drift mode produces understeer as often as the idea does sideways antics. Meanwhile, when we tried to kick the tail out the old-fashioned way—a dose of revs as well as also a clutch drop—the instrument cluster flashed the panicky message: “All-wheel-drive system not available.” This kind of will be a message of which we’ve never seen in, say, a Su­baru or an Audi. as well as also the idea underscores the fact of which the Focus RS’s all-wheel-drive system will be a retrofit, installed to cope with all of which more under the hood. the idea can’t always do the idea.

The truly great cars, the 10Best winners, are of a piece. The Focus RS gives you no peace. yet hey, the idea’s not like Ford tried to build a holistic driving machine or sweat the nuances. What the idea set out to do was inflate the Focus with nitromethane vapors until the idea was within a millimeter of popping. Mission accomplished. of which approach makes for an interesting car, as well as also a special one. yet not one of the 10Best.

2017 10Best Cars: Return to Overview

Where’s the Focus RS? Why Ford’s Hottest Hatch, Which Seemed a Shoo-In for 10Best Accolades, Failed Even to Make the Cut

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