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Unread 04-05-2017, 08:01 PM   #1
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Ford Focus RS long-term test

Ford Focus RS long-term test Tony Middlehurst - Autocar 2 days Tuesday April 4th 2017 Time to test its wet-weather manners Anyone who's ever owned a Subaru Impreza WRX will fit right into the demographic of the Ford Focus RS. Like the heroic Scooby and indeed the equally legendary Mitsubishi Evo, the Ford delivers addictive all-wheel-drive cross-country speeds in all weathers.

All weathers? Hmm, well, to a point. Whether it's down to global warming or not, something odd seems to be happening to the British weather. The autumnal conditions that we're supposed to get in September and October seem to be happening in February and March. With the leaves that should have been blown away last year having turned to mulch, and any non-leafy patches of road covered in standing water, early spring turned out to be the perfect time for a stern test of the Focus's abilities.

And the report from that experience is "could do better". Combining the aforementioned natural boobytraps with the council-created bombhole tracks around our neck of the woods rather exposed the limitations of the RS's ultra-quick steering, tough springing and eagerness to throttle-pirouette into bends. make more demands of the driver than I'd expected.

For many, this closer affinity with the Mitsubishi Evo than the Volkswagen Golf R represents a refreshing refusal to dumb down the RS proposition, and thus can only be seen as a good thing. If you're ready to pick up the gauntlet, you'll love it, but you do need to be prepared for the physical and mental challenge.

Given the chance, we'd be spending our entire three-month tenure of the Focus RS on the Elysian roads of the Scottish Highlands. Unfortunately we're based in a sticky urban environment, where the Ford's Achilles heels of a jarring low-speed ride, rubbish turning circle and awkward visibility raise their ugly heads on a daily basis. With luck we'll be getting away to blow out the cobwebs soon. In the meantime, we're grateful for the fact that, not so very long ago, RS levels of pace would have had to be paid for through shocking fuel consumption and stupid service intervals. Good on Ford for bringing affordable supercar performance to the people.

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