Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Ford Focus RS500

Ford have a habit of reviving classic names and pasting them onto decidedly ropey cars. Remember the mid-nineties Escort Mexico? It was little more than a trim level on a mkVI, rather than anything to do with the glorious rally legend that was the mkI & mkII. Similarly, the mkV Escort RS2000 had none of the benefits of the original RS2000 (rally pedigree, enthusiast-built, iconic aesthetics, pin-sharp handling) and suffered from using the flimsiest and worst Escort ever as a base. The RS1800 name, as championed by the mkII Escort between 1975-77 (Ford's most successful ever rally car) found its way onto the back of a mkIII Fiesta. Unfortunate.

However, it looks as if they might have hit the nail on the head with the RS500. Originally used on the Sierra Cosworth, 'RS500' identified the homologation models for touring car racing, featuring a larger turbo and intercooler, plus motorsport tweaks such as a second row of injectors and higher-flow fuel pump. It was a menacing and purposeful machine. And so is the new Focus RS500.

Essentially a limited-edition version of the Focus RS, rather than being built to satisfy any sort of homologation regulations, it features matt black paint, 350bhp, 340lb.ft., larger intercooler and ECU tweaks - it'll hit 60mph in 5.6s. Click here for more.

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