Ford Focus RS � The Hot Hatchback Of The Decade

The Ford Focus RS – the Fast Ford was launched last year to tumultuous praise. The RS badge has a long history, stretching back to 1968. RS stands for Rallye Sport and derived from the Ford TeamRS division which has since been superseded by Ford Performance. These cars were originally designed for rally racing and since then, there have been thirty road versions of those cars. The 2016 Ford Focus RS is the 30th road car.

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The History of the RS

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The first RS was the 1968 Ford 15M RS Coupe. This isn’t the car often praised as bringing the RS into the spotlight, but it is the first official road car to bear the RS badge. This car was powered by a V4 engine with front-wheel drive. This was followed on by Ford slapping the RS badge onto a slightly larger Ford 17M RS with a 2.0-litre V6 under the bonnet.

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Eventually, Ford created the car that is seen as the genesis for the RS breed. The 1970 Ford Escort RS1600 came with a 1.6-litre twin-cam engine developed by the famous tuners Cosworth. It developed 120 bhp and a top speed of 113 mph, which doesn’t sound terribly impressive today, but was incredible back in 1970.

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Following the Escort, Ford built more Escort RS models as well as Capri RS and  Sierra RS models over the next two decades. In 1990, Ford decided to introduce the RS brand to smaller models. The Ford Fiesta RS was born as a result. This fun packed car came with a 1.6-litre engine with 130 bhp under its tiny bonnet. That was a lot of power for a small car at the time.

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However, from 1993, Ford took a break from the RS brand for almost a decade. In 2002, Ford launched the Ford Focus RS. This car was originally revealed as a concept car at the Geneva Motor Show in 1998 but wasn’t put into production until 2001. Following the 2002 version, Ford goes into hibernation with the RS badge and doesn’t launch another RS until 2009.

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The 2009 Ford Focus RS is packed with a 300 bhp turbocharged 2.5-litre engine that the Escort Cosworth RS can only dream of. But now, we have a new 2016 model that knocked all previous models into the dust.

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The 2016 Ford Focus RS

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2016 saw many fast Fords reach our roads with the Ford Fiesta ST200 and the first ever right-hand-drive Ford Mustang