Icons to consider include the Mk1 Focus RS, Sierra Cosworth and Racing Puma
How many of us can actually afford a new car? The Focus ST promises to be a highlight of 2012, but many of us don’t have a spare £25k to buy one. Fear not, because some of the best fast Fords of the past few decades can be yours for just a four-figure sum.
If you’re now looking at the Blue Oval buffet and wondering what the connection between each of them is, well, there isn’t one. Some, like the Sierra Cosworth are old, some are recent, and some, like the rare Racing Puma and Focus RS are much more limited in their availability than others. But these are the attainable fast Fords that we would spend our money on today.
Okay, so ‘fast’ may be stretching the truth when it comes to the Ford Fiesta XR2, and the Ford Focus ST Mk1 is hardly rare. But all of these cars offer an attainable slice of Ford’s performance car history.
We took the liberty of adding many hundreds of miles to our favourite used fast Fords over the finest Welsh roads simply to find out what these cars offer to the enthusiast who wants to own – and get the most out of – a real-world hot Ford.
Complete Fast Ford buying guide
RS Cosworth is starting to feel its age, but can still deliver thrills; steering wheel is a tactile delight, seat trim is of the picnic blanket variety and its four-pot motor makes 204bhp.
This limited edition, 153bhp ball of fun has limitless amounts of charm and is supremely easy to fall for.
Of all the fast Fords here, the XR2 is the most basic, and none the worse for it. Peppy 1.6-litre engine makes 96bhp and unassisted steering hardwires the XR2 driver to the road.
The ST's blend of five-pot burble, occasional rally-style bang through the exhaust, light but feelsome steering and 324lb ft of torque can turn the most sedate driver into a hooligan.
RS produces 212bhp, but the focus here is more on handling than power; steering wheel features a useful 'this way up' marker.