Ford Focus RS Ending Production As Clouds Gather Over Model's Future

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
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ford focus rs ending production as clouds gather over model s future

It didn’t enjoy a long life, especially here in North America, and it didn’t make it through that short time span without an embarrassing engine defect, but good luck finding someone who’d turn down a hoon session in a Ford Focus RS.

As the king of all hot hatches, the Focus RS gave enthusiasts a sensible five-door for shuttling their kids to school and the ability to shred four tires into coleslaw on the trip home. Well, get ready to pick up a shovel. The Focus goes into its grave on April 6th, and the model line’s future has never looked shakier.

Built at Ford’s Saarlouis, Germany assembly plant, the final iteration of the AWD monster will be a 50-unit run bound for the UK.

Ford of Britain will offer just a handful of Focus RS Heritage Editions, each painted Tief (Deep) Orange, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Escort RS1600 — the brand’s first RS-badged car. After that … who knows? Given Ford’s current heading, relatively unprofitable cars like the Focus, currently in the grip of declining sales, could disappear from the market before too long. That, or return as a crossover-style vehicle, perhaps powered solely by electrons.

A next-generation Focus looms, but Ford punted assembly of future North America-bound models to China last year, rather than build them in a politically uncertain Mexico. Future Focus cars won’t have nearly the diversity of models past, either, as Ford’s streamlining plan allows for far fewer buildable combinations.

You’ll never be able to buy one here, but it’s worth noting that the Focus RS’ final examples benefit from content upgrades, while the already tuned 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder goes in for another testosterone treatment, this one provided by Mountune. Final specs are 370 horsepower and 376 lb-ft — an increase of 20 hp and 26 lb-ft.

North America’s final taste of the RS came last year when, for the 2018 model year, Ford offered U.S. customers 1,000 limited-edition models. Another 500 went to buyers north of the border. Since then, a deluge of complaints saw the automaker call back the entirety of its RS models to replace head gaskets that couldn’t keep coolant away the EcoBoost’s combustion chambers.

It’s possible we’ll see another RS once production of the next-gen Focus gets underway, but it’s an increasingly safe bet that such a variant would be the model’s last.

[Images: Ford Motor Company]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Superdessucke Superdessucke on Feb 15, 2018

    Maybe the RS will come back on the Escape?

  • Lon888 Lon888 on Feb 15, 2018

    Thanks to price gouging dealers here in OKC I have only seen 1 Focus RS in the wild and 1 is sitting a local Ford Dealers service line (I guess its awaiting parts for the cylinder head issue). Heck, I've seen a couple of Polestars around here and there's only around 550 in the whole world.

  • George Hughes What ever happened to the American can-do attitude. I know what, it was coopted by the fossil fuel industry in their effort to protect their racket.
  • 28-Cars-Later "But Assemblyman Phil Ting, the San Franciscan Democrat who wrote the electric school bus legislation, says this is all about the health and wellbeing of Golden State residents. In addition to the normal air pollution stemming from exhaust gasses, he believes children are being exposed to additional carcinogens by just being on a diesel bus."Phil is into real estate, he doesn't know jack sh!t about science or medicine and if media were real it would politely remind him his opinions are not qualified... if it were real. Another question if media were real is why is a very experienced real estate advisor and former tax assessor writing legislation on school busses? If you read the rest of his bio after 2014, his expertise seems to be applied but he gets into more and more things he's not qualified to speak to or legislate on - this isn't to say he isn't capable of doing more but just two years ago Communism™ kept reminding me Dr. Fauxi knew more about medicine than I did and I should die or something. So Uncle Phil just gets a pass with his unqualified opinions?Ting began his career as a real estate  financial adviser at  Arthur Andersen and  CBRE. He also previously served as the executive director of the  Asian Law Caucus, as the president of the Bay Area Assessors Association, and on the board of  Equality California. [url=][1][/url][h3][/h3]In 2005, Ting was appointed San Francisco Assessor-Recorder in 2005 by Mayor  Gavin Newsom, becoming San Francisco’s highest-ranking  Chinese-American official at the time. He was then elected to the post in November 2005, garnering 58 percent of the vote.Ting was re-elected Assessor-Recorder in 2006 and 2010During his first term in the Assembly, Ting authored a law that helped set into motion the transformation of Piers 30-32 into what would become  Chase Center the home of the  Golden State Warriors
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