By on April 6, 2010

Don’t you just hate it when a band or stand up comedian you like is doing a show in your area but the second tickets go on sale, they’ve sold out? Then, if you’re really desperate, you enter the world of the ticket tout, where you could pay exorbitant prices for tickets which might not be genuine. Then, if that fails, you fall back on the “Oh, I’ll wait till it comes out on CD/DVD.” train of thought. Then, when you do get it, you’ll always listen/watch it with a sense of emptiness, knowing you missed out on that live performance. Are you feeling depressed now? Well, think how the people of Europe are feeling. At least those who yearn for a certain Ford Focus.

Autocar reports that Ford of Europe is sending the current Ford Focus RS out with a bang by creating a limited edition line called the Ford Focus RS500. The clue is in the name as to how “limited” this edition is. Only 500 will be manufactured. It will have 345BHP (as opposed to the 300BHP in a current Focus RS). It will have a torque of 339lb/ft (as opposed to 325lb/ft in the current model) and the 0-62mph time will be reduced from 5.9 seconds (in the current model) to 5.6 seconds. In the interior, a plaque will be applied on the center console with the car’s limited edition number on it. As I write these words, the chavs in my neighbourhood are almost wetting themselves in anticipation of this car. Well, they can get in line with the rest of them.

Within 12 hours of this being revealed (not launched, revealed – big difference), over 500 expressions of intent to buy Al Gore’s headache came from the UK alone. This means there will be a more than a few disappointed hoonmeisters in the UK as the car is available for sale in the whole of Europe.

The revealing of this car was wrought with problems. A website was set up to control the press releases of this car, but the website was hacked and official pictures of the car were released 48 hours before they were due to be released. Further problems came when after these pictures were leaked, people went into Ford dealerships to buy the car, only for dealers to have no idea what they were talking about as they weren’t briefed by Ford yet.

Still, never mind, you lot won’t get this car. Do you honestly think CAFE would allow it…?

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31 Comments on “Ford Out Of Focus...”


  • avatar
    RGS920

    CAFE standards aren’t some buggy man standing in the way of the U.S. receiving awesome cars. CAFE ensures that the AVERAGE fuel economy of an entire brand of cars, in this case all ford cars (including mercury and Lincoln) meet an average MPG. The introduction of a couple of thousand of limited edition Focuses will have a negligible effect on mpg standards across all the 100,000′s of Ford vehicles sold here.

    I would venture a guess that if any “green” legislation is hindering Ford from bringing this car state side it is tougher emission laws here, especially California. Then again those can be fixed (although it would come with a small drop in horse power due to restrictive exhausts to burn off all the bad stuff (Think Japanese S2000 when it was first introduced into the US. The restrictive exhaust on the US version resulted in a loss of 10 HP.)

    • 0 avatar
      FleetofWheel

      Forced averages effect the overall mix that can be sold.
      Why shouldn’t every customer who has the money and wants the special Ford Focus be able to buy one?
      Rationing leads to higher prices and unfulfilled consumer demand.

      It’d be like the FDA mandating that the average combo meal sold at Burger King have no more than 400 calories. BK would have to stop selling the 1,200 calorie combo meals until massive numbers of enough customers bought the ‘green’ meal. The menu board would still list the 1,200 calorie meal but you just wouldn’t be allowed to buy it.

      Foot Note: Yes, I know all cars are rationed by price, that is fundamental market capitalism.

    • 0 avatar
      RGS920

      @Fleetofwheel

      My argument was not trying to support or defend CAFE standards. The point I was making is that CAFE standards currently play no role in whether Ford brings the Focus RS to U.S. market. Your argument would have some validity if Ford’s current CAFE average was below the average. However, Ford is operating at a .18 mpg surplus and therefore could easily produce the Focus RS in droves. As was stated below, costs of production are the likely culprit. You can blame the “market” for that especially if Ford thinks it’s uneconomical to produce the Focus RS in the US. This of course being the same “market” you advocate should be responsible for determining mile per gallon standards.

  • avatar
    faygo

    CAFE has _nothing_ to do with this car (or the normal Focus RS) not being sold in the US. the fuel economy impact of a few thousand (if that) RSes would have effectively zero impact on overall Ford corporate fuel economy. the reasons are :

    1) profit potential. the RS has been effectively sold out in UK/Europe for quite some time, at transaction prices far in excess of what Ford could get for the car if sold here. no matter how many people on forums proclaim their readiness to drop $30-$35k on one of these, if you can sell every car have the capacity to build for $35-$45k in € and £ there’s zero incentive to spend additional $mils to certify the car for sale here to make less money.

    2) being based on the C307 Focus, which will be replaced in less than a year, spending engineering on homologation of the RS is foolish. even if it had started when the RS went on sale a year ago(unlikely given the level of uncertainty in the US market at the time), it would have been a bottom line losing proposition, something which doesn’t happen under current Ford management.

    3) certification for safety regs (not better/worse, but different enough to require redesign of lots of parts – look closely at the differences between US and euro Fiesta for instance) would add several $mils of cost, further degrading the bottom line.

    as has been stated by all levels of management at Ford, when global vehicles (Fiesta, Focus, etc) are launched worldwide, performance variants of same will be evaluated for all markets. based on how good the RS is (quite really) it only bodes well for whatever comes next.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    As I write these words, the chavs in my neighbourhood are almost wetting themselves in anticipation of this car.

    I always got a kick out of how Jeremy Clarkson called the Focus RS the Focus ASBO.

  • avatar
    supersleuth

    The truth about CAFE: http://green.autoblog.com/2010/04/05/what-cars-today-really-meet-the-new-cafe-regs-more-than-you-mig/

  • avatar
    obbop

    I was far more excited to see the 1967 Dodge Dart meandering down the street yesterday with its 273 V8 and 4-speed.

    A relic of another era and, to me, possessing a certain pizazz and basic rustic crudeness that, for some, would offer a more pleasing driving experience than any modern conveyance.

    • 0 avatar
      Monty

      obbop!

      One of my favourite cars I’ve ever owned; a ’68 Dodge Dart GT with the 273 V8. Canary yellow with black vinyl interior. PS, no PB, and a foot pump for the washer fluid. Sigh…I really miss butterfly vent windows.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      O.M.G.. There is two of us in the world. I’m 56 years old. If you give me a choice,right at this moment,between taking a $80,000 modern car for a ride,or a 64 Chevy 283 with three on the tree. It would be the Chevy,in a heart beat.

    • 0 avatar
      Monty

      Mikey, there’s more than two of you!

      I would take that ’64 Chev, and raise you a ’65 Strato Chief with the 3 on the tree and the 6 cyl., no PS, no PB with the rubber floor.

      Steve, one of my customers, bought a ’65 Biscayne from a farmer’s widow last summer. Less than 80,000 miles on the odo, it’s a 4 door sedan, with the powerglide and 283. The farmer had stored the car in a barn since 1983, and with some new rubber, an oil change and a coolant flush, the car was on it’s way. The only unfortuante part is that the car was parked so that it was exposed on the driver’s side to light from a window, so the paint and upholstery had faded on half of the car. Other than that, it looks like it did back in the 70′s. He paid $800 for the car, another couple of hundred to pass a safety inspection, and some more for new tires. He uses it as a daily driver for the summer. I’m so jealous.

    • 0 avatar
      educatordan

      My 55 year old father still talks about the 62 Chevy Biscane 4 door that was his second car. 283, Powerglide and he added slicks and glass-pack mufflers to it.

  • avatar
    guyincognito

    @ FAYGO,

    I was almost about to chastise you for throwing such a well reasoned dose of reality onto our god given right to whine about not getting the latest Euro hot hatch, but then you went and got my hopes up for actually getting the next gen Focus RS!

  • avatar
    Irvingklaws

    An expensive limited edition Ford Focus? In the US? Imagine the dealership experience. Arms crossed, the customer pensively ponders their choices, “Hmmmmm…quién es más macho? Mustang or Focus?…Mustang GT or Focus whachamacallit? Mustang GT with V8 or…ummmm…what was the other one again?”

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      You’re right.

      The Focus SVT was being sold with discounts after it came out. It was a case of ‘giving the enthusiasts what they want’ and then listening to the crickets chirp while no one showed up with cash.

  • avatar

    If you’re gonna name it the RS500, at least give it 500 hp. I don’t care if this turns it into a ‘death car,’ because you know the drivers would be grinning ear-to-ear all the way through the end.

    The .3 second shaving doesn’t really do it for me. I could’ve used some comparison times (can it toast Audis, etc?) as well as quarter mile time comparison and contrast to the regular RS model.

    Oh, and Cammy, perhaps you could be the right person to judge. You know of the Chevy Avalanche we had here in the states, right? Four door truck, maybe a 4 foot bed… I call them CHAValanches, funny or no?

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      I don’t think that they need to give it 500hp. Being a front wheel drive hot-hatch, it would be clown car with that kind of power.

      And anyway, they shouldn’t have any trouble selling 500 of these in Europe even with only 345hp. Why complicate things by trying to re-engineer the car for so much stress and speed?

    • 0 avatar
      tced2

      The “500″ name has a history at Ford. The Galaxie 500. The Fairlane 500.
      I don’t know the origins of it – the Indianapolis 500? The Daytona 500?

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      In this case, I don’t think that the ’500′ part is an act of homage to any Galaxies or Fairlanes since this is Europe and they couldn’t give a crap about either.

      It probably is simply because they’re building 500 of them- like the Cammy says in her article.

    • 0 avatar
      geggamoya

      Probably has something to do with the Ford Sierra RS500, built for homologation purposes for Group A touring car racing in the late eighties.

  • avatar
    KitaIkki

    It’s a very nice car. But at 5.6 sec 0-60mph it can barely outrun the 305hp 2011 V6 Mustang, yet costs more than the much speedier 412hp 2011 V8 Mustang. It doesn’t make sense in the US market, CAFE or no CAFE.

    • 0 avatar
      James2

      Maybe, maybe not. The customer who looks at hot hatches might not even bat an eye at pony cars. I mean, do you really think the ricers in their Mits EVO with the Boeing wing on back even cares about a V8?

    • 0 avatar
      KitaIkki

      People who choose cars based on “image,” “tribal identity” and other non-functional criteria don’t really like cars.

  • avatar
    Dan-O

    Is TTAC accepting nominations for Worst New Writer Of The Year? I think we found the runaway winner.

    • 0 avatar

      We don’t.

    • 0 avatar
      Monty

      Dan-O:

      What qualifies this author as “The Worst New Writer of The Year”?

      While this post may not be considered for Pulitzer Prize, it is certainly far from the worst written, even on this blog, let alone the millions of blogs posted every day.

      Bertel: Does this post not constitute a violation of the TTAC’s posting policies? The post in question is personal attack on the writer, and is not relevant to the subject matter.

    • 0 avatar
      Boff

      I’m guessing that, like in some previous instances, an editor inserted the inflammatory couplets.

  • avatar
    Uncle Mellow

    Realistically the last thing the Focus RS needs is more power. That extra 45 BHP is only going to produce more wheelspin. A 4-wheel drive transmission is what it really needs.

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      4WD will add weight and complexity.

      Ford has made a statement with the Focus RS that they can produce a competitive car without that complexity. Making another STi or Evo clone wasn’t their goal.

      Maybe they should make another model in addition to the RS that has AWD. Then we’d both be happy.

  • avatar
    Ion

    2 things have made me lose intrest in the RS:

    1 Lily Allen has one.

    2 I found out there are kits to convert a 1st gen focus into RWD.

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    How many dollars do you have?

    For the right amount I’ll be more than happy to build you the exact same thing Stateside. It just won’t have the factory VIN on it.

    I’ll even build it with (imported) factory parts.

    This isn’t the 70′s. If you really want anything, it’s readily available, if you have the funds.


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