Remembering the Ford Focus RS: A Hot Hatch That is Hotter than the Rest

For years enthusiasts in the U.S. market looked longingly at many of the offerings available in the European market, like the Ford Focus RS. For many years, one of the most exciting hatchbacks available. Sadly, drivers in Europe were the only ones who could enjoy this hot hatch.

Finally, in 2015, Ford announced that the U.S. market would finally be receiving the Ford Focus RS. U.S. drivers rejoiced and began to count down the days until the release. Arriving in the U.S. as a 2016 model, this track-ready hatchback was released to rave reviews. With a huge increase in performance, a healthy dose of aggressive styling, and a driver-centric interior, the Ford Focus RS quickly became the choice for enthusiasts.

The roads ahead are better thanks to the captivating performance

When the Ford Focus RS hit dealership lots in 2016, it came packing quite a punch. A 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine came under the hood, producing 350 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque. This incredible power allowed the hatchback to create rambunctious launches that will pin you back in your seat and cause your heart to race. Getting up to 60 MPH will happen in just 4.5 seconds. Thanks to the all-wheel drive system, you can keep traction through the entire launch.

Many other hot hatches at the time came solely with front-wheel drive. On the other hand, the Ford Focus RS came equipped with a unique Torque-Vectoring All-Wheel-Drive System. This system was a rear-biased option that could send around 70 perfect of available torque to the rear. Furthermore, this system can deliver torque to either side of the car or any individual wheel on demand. 

A driver-centric interior with timeless features

A 2016 Ford Focus RS parked in the snow in its exclusive Nitrous Blue color
2016 Ford Focus RS | Ford

While the Ford Focus RS was known for its incredible performance and capability, it also offered its drivers a comfortable interior. The driver and passenger can enjoy unique Recaro seating that is form-fitting to keep you secure and in control even under the most extreme corners. For the driver, the driver seat is power-adjustable. While the seats were comfortable, MotorTrend noted that the seats could be tight and uncomfortable for a larger driver. 

In addition to the comfortable seating offered, this hatchback also included creator-comforts such as the SYNC 3 infotainment system that included Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a 10-speaker audio system! These features made the Ford Focus RS a beast on the street and the track and a great car to drive daily.

A historic hot hatch with a legacy that continues to impress

The Ford Focus RS was only offered to the U.S. market for two short years. From 2016 to 2018, this hot hatch was the hottest. Few models could stand up and face it with its remarkable performance, aggressive yet reserved styling, and race-ready interior. During those two years, the Ford Focus RS became a sought-after and highly-revered choice for enthusiasts. 

Because of their popularity, these models would often leave the lot as quickly as they arrived. Additionally, Ford intentionally built a limited number of models to keep the demand high; and in return, each model is exceptional. For the final production run of Ford Focus RS models, there were only 1,000 built for the U.S. market.

Since this hot hatch departed from the U.S. market, it has only grown in popularity and lore. Drivers and collectors look at what this hot hatch offers and want nothing more than to find one for themselves. 

The perfect hot hatch for drivers

A 2016 Ford Focus RS showing off its capable all-wheel drive system by driving in the snow.
2016 Ford Focus | Ford

When you have been looking for a performance-focused hot hatch with a notchy six-speed manual transmission, look no further than the Ford Focus RS. This great hatchback is ready to offer you the performance you have wanted. The all-weather confidence that this model can provide and the comfort will make this hot hatch one of the best models around, even in its used form

If you have been looking for a Ford Focus RS, there are plenty of used models available all over the nation. If you’d rather look for a new model, consider models such as the Honda Civic Type R, Volkswagen Golf R, and Subaru STI.

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