Limited Focus

I read (or maybe I just scanned) a report somewhere that our attention spans are getting shorter and, hey look a cow. Apparently (according to a study conducted by Microsoft Corp), it’s estimated that people now generally lose their concentration after 8-seconds, making us officially worse than the proverbial goldfish, which sits at 9-seconds.

For those of you that are still with me and maybe keen to find a solution – ‘experts’ believe that you need to relax a little or indeed get more sleep, you could address your diet, take time away from your computer, phone or tablet, maybe even start concentration exercises, OR, (as I discovered) if you’re looking for a quick fix, rush out and get behind the wheel of the Ford Focus RS Limited Edition.

Dressed in attention-getting Nitrous Blue, contrasting with shadow-black painted roof, spoiler and mirror caps, privacy glass and 19-inch forged black alloy wheels and all cloaked in RS body kitness, believe me when I tell you that you WILL be seen coming, well sort of.

Because under the tiny bonnet sits a rather impressive 2.3L turbo engine that is linked to a six-speed manual (yes manual) gearbox. Combined they produce 275kw, 440Nm, 0-100 in well under 5s and a top speed of over 250km/h, so spotting you may in fact be a little difficult – oh and just in case fuel economy and the planet keeps you awake at night, this Focus RS has a combined figure of 8.1L/100km and 190g/km.

The sportiness continues inside too. Recaro seats with Nitrous Blue leather applications, push-button start, Sync 3 infotainment and a 9-speaker stereo, the Focus RS has a good mixture of helpful creature comforts and sporty-holding firmness.

On the road it has the ability (albeit only just), to be a daily driver. It won’t shake you to pieces or tax your every muscle, plus it has ample driving assists such as emergency braking and cruise control to help you blend in to conformity. However, although the gearbox is tight and gear selection easy, if you’re a regular commuter, rush hour traffic will possibly become tiresome with a manual box. But that’s not what this RS is all about.

This is a car that wants, no ‘needs’ to be driven, it simply laps it up. Engage Sport mode and feel free to travel up and down the rev range with angry aplomb, there are also Track and Race modes when you get way off the grid. The AWD system is very forgiving and I say this as it’s very, very grippingly capable. Cornering at pace requires your undivided attention of course, for which you will be handsomely rewarded with ‘tramrail’ handling. The EPAS (electronic power assisted steering) is perfectly weighted, with the RS suspension and front limited slip diff offering most excellent launch speeds and an involved driving experience (it has launch control too). Something else I’m sure you’ll be glad to know is that Brembo provides the braking power, with its 4-pot vented discs, the RS stops on a dime.

Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to secure any tracktime with the Focus RS Limited Edition so all of the real fun toys this car has on offer, such as drift mode and track apps had to be left in the box, (I’m sure there will be a chance for this in the future) but even on the local twisties I found myself exploring during the week, it was easy to see how well this vehicle gets on with its old friend traction.

If the reports and surveys about our waning concentration levels are to be believed (and I have no doubt that they are), then the Ford Focus RS Limited Edition should come with a health subsidy, because in my humble opinion, being behind the wheel of this hot hatch offers true Focus therapy – take that goldfish.

Thanks for the ride Ford, the Focus RS Limited Edition really grabbed my attention.