What is it?
One of the great things about being a kid is that level of hyper-excitement about pretty much anything. Everything’s new, amazing and fantastical. Then you get older, jaded, and full of seen-it-all-before complacence, and if you’re not a little bit mindful of the fact, life starts to seem a bit boring.
It isn’t of course. There’s wonderment all around, particularly at this time of the year: newborn lambs a jumping, lemon-yellow daffodils a blooming, and a new Ford Focus RS with the potential to spank the bejesus out of every hot hatch on sale today. I’ve been itching for this moment like a two-year old taking his first foray on the top deck of a bus, which creates a problem: expectation. “Oh crumbs, what if the reality doesn’t match the dream?”
On paper it’s absolutely dreamy. Grounded on the already fine Focus chassis and worked on by Ford Performance, it’s got the Mustang’s 2.3-litre motor that’ll rev to 6800rpm and spit out 345bhp to all four wheels.
If four-wheel drive makes you yawn and think of dreary understeer, don’t panic; the Focus RS has that covered. Two electronically controlled clutches at the back can switch up to 70% of the torque rearwards and up to 100% from side to side in as little as 0.06sec. And there’s a Drift Mode that locks it into a permanently playful oversteery setup.
You also get launch control, Brembo brakes, a shift light and the option of Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres. Oh, and I almost forgot, a proper six-speed manual gearbox with three pedals.