• May 25, 2007
Click image for a gallery of the 2002 Ford Focus RS

One of the most desirable pieces of forbidden fruit from the Ford of Europe stable was the Focus RS. Based on the Mk1 Focus, the RS sported WRC-inspired looks and handling, and was powered by a turbocharged 215-horsepower 2.0L Duratec that spun the front wheels. Auto Express is now reporting that the next RS, which was to be based on the freshened MkII Focus coming in late '08, expected to boast 300 horsepower and 4WD, has been scrapped.

A UK buyer who had placed a deposit told the publication that his money was returned, saying the dealer informed him that the project was scrapped due to emissions concerns. Ford has dispelled that notion, telling Auto Express that a sound business case for the car simply couldn't be made at this time. Before our European readers get too upset, the mag says that the RS could come back on the radar for the MkIII refresh scheduled for sometime in 2010.

At least we'll be spared the ignominy of being taunted with another awesome Europe-only Focus for the time being.

[Source: Auto Express]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Like the Focus II SVT? Get a Mazdaspeed3. Same basic chassis, and it IS available.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Seriously. Ford had a great thing going with the MkI Focus SVT here in the US. They were able to get people who would have never considered a Ford to actually want one. That was big. Then, they dropped it. It's too bad really, I think the Focus SVT made a great "halo" Focus and if they had kept it around, along with improving the interior, Ford would've had an awesome Focus lineup. Granted, the RS would've been even better....
      • 7 Years Ago
      And so it starts.

      Ford was unable to meet emmisions in Europe, the sad part is that Europeans are about to make even tougher limits, i guess that will be the end of Ford Europe.

      But hey, atleast Ford doesn't have that problem in USA. Because Americans are tough...we enjoy all that smog that comes out of SUVs and Pick Ups.

      Mark my words.....3 years from now Ford will start making smaller cars to meet efficiency in USA, why Toyota and Honda will be making Larger cars and Trucks that will STILL meet those standards because they have Hybrid system.

      Or Ford will altogether withdraw from certain sectors....like they did with minivans few months ago.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Someone tell me why this never saw our shores... Why, oh why, was I "forced" to settle for a MkI SVT? Who was the genious that came up with THAT ad campaign?
      • 7 Years Ago
      If the Saturn Astra gets the Red Line treatment (aka Vauxhaull Astra VXR) Ford will probably have to follow suit with a RS or ST trim for the Focus.

      If only the North American public would learn that small, lightweight hatches are incredibly fun to drive. S
      • 7 Years Ago
      Some of the reasons why I bought an SVT Focus was that it was lightweight, had plenty of power without being obnoxious, great handling and its utility - I've carried a dresser drawer and a queen-sized futon mattress in the back. A friend of mine carried a full sized dryer in the back.

      It's sad that the RS versions don't ever get a chance to come to North America. They're missing a big sector in economical, sport compacts. The way I see it, Ford always have led this sector - especially with the Focus.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I imagine a lot of these higher performance cars are going to get scrapped if the CO2 regulations the EU is talking about go forward.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Speedball3 hit the nail on the head. I'm one of those people he's talking about. I had NEVER considered purchasing a Ford. I'm not a muscle car guy, and nothing else they had in the lineup really appealed to me. Until, that is, they offered the SVT Focus. One drive and I was sold. I bought a 2004 Euro package car. GREAT vehicle, lots of fun to drive, very well sorted right from the factory. I bought the car not b ecause it was "cheap" but rather because it was a very well executed car that was entertaining to drive. It just so happened it was a Focus.

      The car was such a pleasure to drive, it made me reconsider other Ford products (like an Explorer to tow my trailer). I have a '99 BMW M3 as a "toy" as well, and in many ways the SVT Focus has the same "it" factor as the Bimmer. The car components work together to deliver an experience that is not the fastest or best handling, but one of overall competence. Especially when one considers the price -- 17.5K brand new.

      And then Ford discontinued it. And once again, we're back to the place where Ford has little in their product line to capture my attention. So, my automotive attentions have wandered elsewhere. Like the lightly pre-owned BMW 330i ZHP car now in my driveway. The SVT is up for sale.

      Maybe Ford will actually figure it out someday. 'Til then, I'm back to shopping elsewhere.

      --Cornholio
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Last Focus SVT was a really good car, if you install the Jackson Racing Supercharger and the SVT LSD you essencially have an MK1 RS. The current ST (USDM) isn't as good as the old SVT. I would love to see ford release a performance varient of the restyled focus (even it rides on most of the old platform). What they need is a 3-door 200hp hot hatch, next year. Nearly every other company has a quick sport compact car WV, Volvo, Chevy, Mazda, Honda, Mini, Scion (with the TRD S/C), Nissan, Subaru, Hyundai (the tiburon comes close), The SVT was a really nice looking car in my opinion. Ford really needs an updated SVT with 200hp. Their 2.0 should be able to be turbo charged or even superchared, they have the 2.3 which is similar to Mazda's 2.3 DISI, and they have the 5 cylinder euro turbo engine. They have the resources. I'm not asking for a new chassis, but atleast a new drivetrain would be nice.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Proof that Ford Europe can screw up just like their American division.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "But hey, atleast Ford doesn't have that problem in USA. Because Americans are tough...we enjoy all that smog that comes out of SUVs and Pick Ups."

      your an idiot, the 'smog' emmisions are much tighter in the us than europe. if you even read the whole post you would have seen that the real reason the car was not produced is a business case could not be made.

      the instant you saw something to bash ford about you posted, no reading or thinking or information required for you to make an ass of yourself.