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Driven: Focus RS (Mk2)

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I've been toying with the idea of changing my car recently. When I say recently, I've probably been selling it for the last four years and nine months, or since I bought it..... :o Either that, or i'll throw some more money at it and keep it. You can see where this is going can't you..?

Anyway, I digress. Various car ideas are going through my head at the moment, newer car, more powerful car, more sensible powerful car, yaddy yaddy yada. Then, one of friends suggests the Mk1 Focus RS. It's my kind of car, enthusiast based, not overly mainstream i.e you don't see a huge amount of them about, a hatch, FWD etc. but with some boost, for a change. So, in the process of looking for one, I joined a couple of owners forums and before you know it got an invite from someone local to have a yak and a look at his Mk2 FRS.

In the run up to this, I'm thinking f**k what if I fall for this instead? What if it lives up to my childhood RS cars and I instantly want one? The wifes going to go nuts and the new kitchen and extension goes out the window. :o

So on Sunday, I took up the offer and trundled around. First impressions are it's pretty big. To me it's a fair old lump of car and very aggressive looking in the metal. In white (best colour choice IMO), it looked the danglies, very pumped, very "I mean business, get out of my way". Inside the leather and alcantara buckets are beautifully sculpted and a nice place to be. With the rear tints and the black headlining however, it was a tad claustrophobic in there. :confused:

I pushed the starter and the five pot whirred into life and settled at a suprisingly quiet idle. Even with an aftermarket Piper exhaust fitted, it was still quite quiet. Matt drove off up the road and let the car warm up a bit, using the torque and short shifting through the box. Once warm, he gave me a little demo of 'quite a bit' of throttle in second and the axle tramp was most noticeable as the car tried to get the traction down in the slightly damp conditions. Once into third though it was off and moving taking no prisoners.

The ride, on 19s, was so compliant I was :eek: 19s? Really? It felt so smooth and composed on the broken roads around us. It soaks up the bumps, big and small very nicely and again, is very quiet in the process. After a while, we swapped seats and I got to have a drive. :grin: Being a tad nervous, I was a bit Morgan Freeman with the driving experience. The pedals aren't that well spaced IMO so with a totally new car under my butt (my clumsy shoes on or the ones that let me cheat and toe in my car :grin:), I chose not to attempt any heel and toe action. I took a run around some of the country roads and then out onto the local dual carriageway. After getting a feel for the car and looping around a roundabout and down a slip road, I looked for some space and got my foot down. Almost schoolboy error as the boost kicked in and I hadn't pulled out yet. :o In the DC2, I have to wait until it winds around to 6k before I make a move, in the Focus it was just off. F**k me it's quick. :eek: Seriously quick.

So, did I love it. In a word, no. :confused: Like yes. Love no. :( It's an incredibly quick car, it really is. It's been a while since I've driven an F/I car and it is fun, having the torque to play with was such a bizarre concept for me :roflmao: But there was also a total lack of drama. It's so composed, so well damped, so quiet it left me wanting. I wanted more engine noise, induction noise, not necessarily exhaust noise but more noise. I wanted a big Fffffssssssssssssssshhhhhhhh as the boost came on and thudded me in the back but it wasn't there, for me anyway. Don't get me wrong, it's a brilliant car, it really is. The problem is me. I just think I'm stuck in old school mode and can't adapt to the comfort and better build quality of newer cars. :(:ffs:

We came back, jumped into mine and went for a quick spin and I loved every second of it. The roar of the induction noise, the sound of near 9,000rpm, the total lack of torque :roflmao: The bumps and feel on my 55 profile 15" wheels :roflmao:. ..my total lack of driving skill... I loved it. :o

So where does that leave me with replacing my car? Well, I want to go drive the Mk1 and see if the character that I've read about is there. See if it's a bit manic, a bit noisy, a bit rougher....my kind of car.

I have another choice up my sleeve that I think would suit me down to the ground but it's not completely 'off the shelf' and I don't know if I have enough bothered to make it come together. Watch this space*

Thanks for reading, or at least skipping to the bottom. :)

*or an equally long thread in another section, maybe with the odd picture thrown in.

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Good read although i cannot agree with your assessment of colour choice..........

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Nice review. You should find the Mark 1 a lot more rawer, try and find a late a possible example '53 plate onwards to get a more compliant drive!

Also sounds like you need a scooby or evo in your life, if you are after more noise in the fashion you explain

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Seen a few of these about but for me the looks are hit `n` miss..... I prefer the older MK1 Focus RS to be honest, not sure why....... smaller size perhaps.

As mentioned try and go for a later 53-plate as they had some revised parts etc... love the RS blue paint and those easy to clean OZ alloys..... those Brembo brakes peeking thru them :grin:

Riz +++

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That's modern cars for you! Smooth & refined! Even the 'beastie' ones!

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That's modern cars for you! Smooth & refined! Even the 'beastie' ones!

Nice write-up.

I would have thought that the Feckus would have been considered one of the rawer 'new' cars though, esp with the 5 pot which sounds great.

The original RS is a 4 pot with just 170 bhp isn't it ? Never floated my boat that one...

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That's modern cars for you! Smooth & refined! Even the 'beastie' ones!

....And that's why you need to modify them. A Milltek and harder aftermarket engine mounts will instantly put you more in touch.

Nice and straightforward review and fun to read.

+++:cool:+++

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Nice write-up.

I would have thought that the Feckus would have been considered one of the rawer 'new' cars though, esp with the 5 pot which sounds great.

The original RS is a 4 pot with just 170 bhp isn't it ? Never floated my boat that one...

212bhp from memory i think........or there abouts..........+++

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212bhp from memory i think........or there abouts..........+++

That's right, it was the ST170 that had 170bhp

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Nice write-up.

I would have thought that the Feckus would have been considered one of the rawer 'new' cars though, esp with the 5 pot which sounds great.

The original RS is a 4 pot with just 170 bhp isn't it ? Never floated my boat that one...

As below, the ST170 had the n/a 170bhp. Mk1 FRS was turbocharged to 212bhp. Lots of people running them modified to much higher values, some 'claiming' 400bhp. I'd be interested to see how that gets down to the road..... A few simple mods; tubular manifold, high flow cat, Miltek exhaust, Bluefin results in around the 285bhp mark. Plenty I would think in a seven year old, FWD Focus weighing around 1200kg. ;)

I didn't find the Mk2 raw at all but I do believe it's me, not the car. After nearly 5 years, I think I'm just so used to my car, anything else just seems like sheer luxury, or rather doesn't 'feel' as it were. :o I guess anybody coming from something from one of the German marques would probably find the FRS quite harsh. :confused:

Perhaps I just need to move with the times :(

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....And that's why you need to modify them. A Milltek and harder aftermarket engine mounts will instantly put you more in touch.

Nice and straightforward review and fun to read.

+++:cool:+++

Cheers RR. :)

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This month's EVO mag is running another Buyers Guide on the Mark 1 RS ...... they just can't make their minds up

193549-front.JPG

Me....I'd quite happily have another one

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I know where you're coming from Arch. I find most modern stuff too refined, heavy, and insulating. It may be a psychological thing more than anything, but I like to hear an engine, have a car that feels 'light on its toes' and with lots of feedback without having to wrestle it. There are very few modern cars that tick those boxes (for me, anyway). I think that the pick of the 'modern' crop (on paper) would have to be the S2000, but I haven't tried one, although it is on my hitlist...

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I know where you're coming from Arch. I find most modern stuff too refined, heavy, and insulating. It may be a psychological thing more than anything, but I like to hear an engine, have a car that feels 'light on its toes' and with lots of feedback without having to wrestle it. There are very few modern cars that tick those boxes (for me, anyway). I think that the pick of the 'modern' crop (on paper) would have to be the S2000, but I haven't tried one, although it is on my hitlist...

....That is EXACTLY how I feel, DK - I hate cars/vehicles which are marshmallow caccoons. Tactile and taut and with plenty feedback is how I like them.

+++

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For me, going from an Audi 4.2 V8 quattro to an A8 4.2 quattro really did highlight the differences/advances in refinement.

Amazing difference. the V8 q would roar at anything over 4K, the A8 produced a VERY muted V8 rumble at high throttle!

That is the thing with each and every next generation mainstream model.

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....That is EXACTLY how I feel, DK - I hate cars/vehicles which are marshmallow caccoons. Tactile and taut and with plenty feedback is how I like them.

+++

That's why I can't give up my scabby old MX-5 +++

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That is the thing with each and every next generation mainstream model.

....It's as if the bureaucrats and manufacturers are on a mission to make us comfortably numb.

:finger: to them, I say!

YouTube - Pink Floyd The Wall - Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb

What an utterly beautiful piece of music and a roll out guitar solo which still blows me away. Play on a good sound system and loud!

Enjoy :)

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This month's EVO mag is running another Buyers Guide on the Mark 1 RS ...... they just can't make their minds up

193549-front.JPG

Me....I'd quite happily have another one

Cheers for that, I'll have a look and see what they have to say. +++

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I drove something else at the weekend and was grinning like a crazy fool the whole time. I'm not going to tell you what it is yet however.....

- It lived up to all the hype in the press and magazines.

- It has four doors

- It's way more fun than the FRS (IMO)

- It's made me advertise the DC2, after nearly five years ownership, as I want it very much :eek:

Watch this space.......Oh I really really want it :o:roflmao:

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- It lived up to all the hype in the press and magazines.

- It has four doors

- It's way more fun than the FRS (IMO)

- It's made me advertise the DC2, after nearly five years ownership, as I want it very much

Kia Picanto. I claim my prize.

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I drove something else at the weekend and was grinning like a crazy fool the whole time. I'm not going to tell you what it is yet however.....

- It lived up to all the hype in the press and magazines.

- It has four doors

- It's way more fun than the FRS (IMO)

- It's made me advertise the DC2, after nearly five years ownership, as I want it very much :eek:

Watch this space.......Oh I really really want it :o:roflmao:

does it have a K20A engine?

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does it have a K20A engine?

It might have.... :P

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The best feature of this car is the turbocharged engine, getting 305 hp out of a five cylinder motor is very impressive. still, I think $18,000 is a bit too much to pay for a Ford Focus RS.

I liked the interior though, very nice layout and arrangement.

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