As a kid I used to scan through the back pages of Autocar comparing 0-60mph times and using this information to assess which car I would rather have.
Of course such figures don’t tell the whole story and nowhere is this more apparent than in the Ford Focus RS that I was lucky enough to grab last night.
To put it simply, gun an RS and the fact that a Mitsubishi Evo X FQ360 will reach 60mph around 1.7 seconds quicker is so pointless it is almost laughable.
The RS makes such a rich noise, coupled to an unrelenting wave of torque forcing you into the back of the seat, you really don’t give a monkeys if the Evo, with its anodyne-note and dull four-pot, is faster.
The Ford is so exciting and engaging all of the time – not to mentioning feeling faster - and in an instant has made hot Subarus and Mitsubishis suddenly seem a bit dated. What the Ford has, and the Japanese rally-reps don’t, is character, and bags of it.
It feels intrinsically special and more importantly, painfully desirable. There are few cars that I really, really want, and one of them is a RS. I can’t imagine ever growing tired of the turbo-whistling, induction-roaring, Audi Quattro-sounding noise that is being fed into the cabin by Ford’s Sound Symposer.
At first glimpse the cockpit makes you think Ford could have tried a bit harder to make it special. But this is the endearing point about this car, it’s a bog-standard Ford that has been tweaked and fettled to become a working class hero, just like they did almost forty years ago to MK1 Escorts.Take the good bits of a model and make them better.
The only thing that might put you off the RS is the looks, but I think they are spot on. Too long have manufacturers been toning down their hot products in case they offend someone, but the RS is unashamedly lairy. Quite simply for £25k there is nothing else like it.