History Of The Ford Focus RS – Why Is It Such An Icon – Boost And Camber

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One of the most iconic cars in car culture has to be the Ford Focus. It’s been used by family’s all over the world and is renowned for its spacious boot and affordability. But what’s if it wasn’t affordable and was fast and sporty? What’s if it was a Ford Focus with heritage. This is the History Of The Ford Focus RS.

Having been a Ford fanatic for years, since my Grandad owned his Sierras and Escorts, I’ve had a passion for Ford cars. It wasn’t always the way though, I drove a lot of Renaults until I run into money trouble and had to find a banger, which lead me to a little garage where I found my gem. A Mk2 Focus.

I then went on to falling in love with it, it’s still on my drive, even though I drive a mk3 ST, but it pushed me to my love of the RS and I had a lot of fun finding out about, driving and learning about the RS heritage, so this post will highlight all my knowledge to pass on to you about the Ford Focus RS.

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Before The Focus

It was back in 1998 that Ford decided to release its Ford Focus, but previous to this, there were a number of hit cars that stormed the market and are still looked up to in this era of car enthusiasts.

The Ford Escort was one of those cars and it was an absolute legend up to its retirement. It had released 7 generations, numerous performance models, including the Rs2000, the XR3i and the Rs Turbo. All of which paved the way for later generations of performance cars.

Even earlier than that, the parent to the Mondeo, was the Ford Sierra, which was the Grandad of the Ford lineup, giving life to Ford with their Sierra Cosworth RS500, which has become quite a collectors item in today’s era.

All of this said, the Focus had a lot to live up to and it did, it excelled, it became one of the best-selling hatchback cars of its time, with the first generation selling for 5 years, it was only right they carried on the RS name.

First Generation

Enter the mk1 Focus RS, brought out in 2002 in the one colour, imperial blue, they are a car to be marveled at car shows when they all come together like a family reunion. The mk1 wore the RS badge for the first time in 6 years since the Escort had handed in the badge and it had a lot to live up to.

With its aggressive styling and 2.0 Duratec turbo engine, this car looked and sounded the part. They sold over 4,000 of these blue machines even through the uproar that the car was front wheel drive instead of its predecessors AWD. Unbelievably, every car sold lost money, ironically, there ability to hold money has seen off depreciation.

This First Generation was just a taste of what was to come, with enthusiasts anxious for the next generation, they would have to wait, but not for long, as Ford had a plan. The mk1 was just an appetizer, but it had got everyone’s taste buds ready for the next wave of Fast Fords.

Second Generation

The Ford Focus had seen through its first generation and the world praised the Mk2 preface lift. The ST was in full swing and was creating waves with its new HYDA engine. Even though the 2.5 litre 5 cylinders was pushing out 225 bhp, the car needed an RS model.

Then in 2009 came along the promised RS, it came in more colours than just blue and sported a big wing, bigger wheels and 300 bhp. The car was an absolute sensation, it was the car we had all been waiting for. With enthusiasts running to get them, they were sought after and prices soared.

Even today the prices are high and it is still one of those cars you love to talk about and anyone that drives one has no complaints (except for living at a fuel station) and smiles on their faces. The iconic ultimate green are the most popular colour.

Its so popular that people like Jay Leno and James Martin bought them to fulfill childhood dreams. So what would take over from this masterpiece?

Third Generation

With the hit of the Mk2 still lingering in the air, the latest RS was once again in hibernation, just biding it’s time to reveal itself to the masses. As we had seen with the release of the mk3 Focus the shape had a complete change, it was no longer a bubble, but more of a sleek, smooth looking vehicle.

The ST even came with a diesel option, it was a strange time for the Focus as they tried new thing. So they had to go back to the roots. In 2016 the RS arrived, bringing back the AWD! It also went back to an inline 4 turbo setup, although slightly more powerful than any other RS with 350 bhp.

The RS kept up its appearance, it had kept its heritage and not let us down. The only thing that makes it completely different from any other Focus RS was the amount of doors it has. The Focus RS is built with family in mind, with 5 doors instead of 3, it makes this car far more practical.

But what can honestly top this or keep up with the trend?

What’s To Come

Now comes the waiting time, we’ve had the mk4 ST, which again has come out in a 5 door with diesel and petrol options.

So we have an idea of how the car will look. But the previous 2.3 inline 4 has been used in the ST. So what can we expect for ford to pull out of the bag for the next engine? Maybe another 5 cylinder? We hope so.

With advance in technology, we know this car is going to be full of gadgets, we look forward to seeing the release in the years to come and see the RS heritage to grow.

If you have anything you want to add to this post, drop a comment below. Or if you are a Ford enthusiast, get in touch with us, we love to talk Ford.

All the best


[email protected]

Founder of Boost And Camber

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