European Ford Focus RS500: Americans are drooling
U.S. Blue Oval fans adore Ford Mustang’s huge V-8 power and its ultra-high performance Shelby variant, fairly high fuel prices, and narrow roads in Europe that have lost drivers east of the Atlantic Ocean Powerful power pony cart. Since 2005, Ford Focus has represented a rather boring commuter car in Europe. As a more advanced compact car, it has always existed in a better life. As a more refined car, Europe Focus also stands in the food chain of high-performance cars in the form of Ford Focus RS.
While RS is more commonly associated with the Chevrolet Camaro in the United States, Ford’s European arm has long-exploited the Rally Sport acronym selling special edition sport compact cars geared for competition. Premiering at Germany’s 2010 Leipzig Motor Show, the 2010 Ford Focus RS500 is a special vehicle considered the swan song for the outgoing European Focus. For a swan, the Focus RS500 will scream like an eagle.
Producing power incomprehensible to the North American Ford Focus’ 143 horsepower 2-liter inline-4 engine, Ford’s UK branch has juiced up the small car offering Focus RS by belting a turbocharger and intercooler to a 2.5-liter five-cylinder powerplant. Through the RS500 upgrade, Ford engineers increased the engine’s breathing habits by enlarging the intercooler, air box, and exhaust pipe volume. A monstrous 350 PS (equivalent to over 345 horsepower) fed through a 6-speed transaxle. Despite peak engine power set high at 6,000 RPMs, the 2010 Ford Focus RS500 secures 0-60 mile per hour times within the 5 to 5.5-second range.
Complimenting the aggressive Focus RS500 performance, Panther Black metallic paint is worn over the sports-dressed hatchback. Riding on blacked-out 19-inch alloy wheels, the turbocharged engine spins soon-to-be-smoking performance radial tires supported up by a limited-slip front differential. Performing the necessary grip to break some velocities inadvisable for public streets, the Ford Focus RS500 wears massive brakes with red-painted calipers, which visibility charms the sport tuner look.
Inside, the Ford Focus RS500 plunges the adrenaline-seeking riders. With the driver enjoying the benefits of a great power-to-weight ratio, passengers can be driven into jealousy. Augmented to compliment the extreme sport feel and the Panther Black exterior, carbon-fiber insert center trim, and optional Recaro bucket racing seats are unique to the Focus RS500 trim. A special RS500 plate is worn on the center console identifying an individual vehicle’s place in a Ford factory’s rare crop.
To commission only 500 examples to be distributed through 20 European regions, the Ford Focus RS500 will find its way into a select number of drivers within the United Kingdom, Germany, and other neighboring countries. More than could be said about sport compact lovers in the new world.
According to marketing people within the auto industry, we, as North American auto enthusiasts, simply lack the appetite for small cars. If the new Ford Focus appears in Europe in RS trim, perhaps Ford Motor Company might induce some global hunger. Maybe the all-new 2011 Ford Focus will eventually lend everyone a non-discriminating taste of small car performance.
Photo provided by Ford Motor Company
Chevrolet shines on the 2013 Camaro ZL1
Camaro ZL1 was originally sold in 1969 as a special request for purchase by a special dealer in the Chevrolet COPO (Central Office Production Order) group. It has maintained a rather low-key appearanc...
Automoblog Book Garage: Boss Mustang: 50 Years
Of all the legendary names in the history of the Ford Mustang, one stands apart: Boss.Mustang Historian Donald Farr takes us on a pony car journey in Boss Mustang: 50 Years.Our Book Garage series feat...