Four years ago you’d have been lucky to grab a Focus RS Mk2 for less than £19,000, but now prices start at around £13,500. Not only that but there’s also a whiff of the fire sale about them, with many being advertised at £1500-£3000 less than the market average.
It so happens that a colleague has been considering selling his Mk2 Focus ST that he bought 12 months ago. Not a chance. Prices have nosedived and his plan to come out with his shirt on is in tatters.
“Too many tired, ratty, leggy and modified cars, plus just keeping one on the road is getting more expensive,” is his theory. It could equally well apply to the RS. The upside is that if you’ve always hankered after one, now might be a good time to strike.
An unmodified car with a reasonable mileage and a good history – virtues that will stand it in good stead as they become rarer – is what you want. We found a 2010- reg with 77,000 miles and full Ford service history for £15,500. It’s being sold by a Ford dealer, so we’ll assume they know a good one from a duffer.
We’d be keen to check it’s been fed a diet of Castrol Longtec or Edge 0W-40 and that when we remove the dipstick, we can’t hear the hiss of escaping air, indicating excessive crankcase pressure caused by a split diaphragm in the combined oil filter and breather (but it’s easily repaired).
The gearbox should change smoothly and tyres should be of the premium variety with no excessive wear on the inner shoulders. Finally, we’d trace the ECU wiring to check it’s not being frayed by excessive engine movement.
Volvo S60 T6 R-Design 4WD auto, £7990: Same age and power as the Focus RS above, this is a comfy express rather than a hot saloon like the previous-gen S60 R. Our find is a 2011-reg with a heroic 140,000 miles but with just the one previous owner and a full service history.