For enthusiasts looking for even more performance than the already superb Focus ST, a first in the US, the 2016 Ford Focus RS turns up the level way above 11 for the sport subcompact segment. With development feedback from famous rally and gymkhana driver Ken Block, the RS is poised to take on the VW Golf R and the already established Subaru WRX STi.
A Drift Mode Button Helps You Convince What a Fun and Engaging the 2016 Ford Focus RS is
On the outside, the front and back the fascia features more aggressive (more so than the ST) body kits to tell you that the 2016 Ford Focus RS isn’t your ordinary Focus hatch.Under the hood sits a beast of a 2.3-liter four cylinder turbo that squeezes 350 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque through a standard six-speed manual to all four wheels. The engine sounds like its rally counterpart albeit with the decibels turned down to keep things civilized.
On the inside little has changed from the ST apart from minor trim and gauges telling you that this car could go way beyond what the ST can do. The RS has different Recaro seats than the ST and there’s a control panel next to the gear selector sporting four drive modes featuring the “drift mode”
On to the meat of the review for a performance car; the Focus RS drives like an ST during normal driving under city conditions. Ford however didn’t opt for the dynamic steering ratio that the ST has and sticking to a more direct steering feel. The six-speed manual is identical to the ST. Tossing the car around corners and you notice that the ride is firmer with the 2016 RS having equipped with adjustable dampers as standard. Going up the revs however will wake up the RS and from then on, it’s a whole lot different than the RS. The 4WD system features torque vectoring for four wheel steering. That torque vectoring is what makes the “drift mode” possible; of course you can drift it with all systems off, but this mode comes as an assist to help you drift and save you in case you mess up by controlling the maximum angle you can achieve.
The hype is real; stunning exterior, powerful engine, superb handling and the fact that you know Ken Block had input in designing the car. All while maintaining a fully practical daily driver.
Aside from the interior not having more features than the ST, there’s not much negatives to give the RS; maybe the fact that it only arrived on US soil now while the EU market had an RS for each generation of the Focus in the past.
The 2016 Ford Focus RS is an awesome enthusiast’s car, it looks good enough to snap necks, it performs very well on track, and it works as a normal car too.