You might think that the night before the motor show, most hacks would be ironing their suits and checking that they had a working biro ready for the day following.21072008257

In fact, many of them were milling around a new Focus RS in a neglected looking shed in Dagenham, which is normally home to more than 60 heritage cars.

So it was appropriate that Ford’s pre-motor show party was centred around the heritage of the new 295bhp, front-wheel-drive RS. And very impressive it is, too. The row of historic models ranged from the Capri RS through to the famous Sierra Cosworth RS, and all of them held more appeal to me than plenty of today’s faster sports cars.

21072008249The new Focus RS promises to hold to all those values, including benchmark performance in its class, the flexibility to be used every day, and looks good enough to inspire any car nut old enough to consciously hanker after a motor.

The Ford Focus RS doesn’t go on sale until summer 2009, but even viewing a static car on a stand, the latest performance model to wear the Blue Oval reminded me of exactly what the RS brand is all about; great cars that give every enthusiast an attainable icon.

We may not have driven it yet, but I want one anyway.