• Mar 26, 2009
2010 Ford Focus RS - Click above for high-res image gallery

Pretty soon, it seems like the start of Nürburgring lap time season will take its place on motorsports calendars the same way you find with Formula 1 and NASCAR. The 'Ring season officially began last week, and the title card pitted the 2009 Ford Focus RS against the Renaultsport Megane R26.R. The Ford's numbers are 297 hp and 324 lb-ft; the Renault posts 230 hp and 229 lb.-ft, and the Megane's time stands at 8:16.9 (not 8:12) on its Toyo track-friendly rubber.

For the first round, the detuned 250 hp Focus RS test car managed 8:27 on "standard Continental tires," so Ford is reportedly looking at the full-fat 297 hp car to do around 8:15. Word is if they can get that close, they'll consider adding the Toyo Cup tires to the customer options list, which could subtract at least three seconds from the Focus' time and allow it to take home the 'Ring trophy for hot hatches. Ford will be back at the 'Ring next week to give it a go. Cheating? Perhaps. Pointless? Maybe. Fun for us to watch? Definitely. Hat tip to yaroukh




[Source: Driving Spirit]


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  • 34 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      i thought it was an STI for a second... actually I still would get them mixed up at a glance.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This makes me so happy. Even though the most popular motorsports are creating less and less trickle-down into road cars (how much F1 technology is in your Renault? or NASCAR tech in your Taurus? or N2000-spec stuff in your... whoever's left in WRC?) manufacturers have found another realm to compete in a way that actually affects product development.

      Two thumbs up for the 'Ring.
      • 5 Years Ago
      make me feel bad i got my mazda3speed aka mps in europe
      • 5 Years Ago
      I can't believe the U.S are not getting this beautiful machine.
        • 5 Years Ago
        too good for us American maybe?
        "America is not ready for GT-R Vspec"

        the car is beautiful..... just look at that headlight..

        with the new mazda 3 design..... Focus RS might just grab a large amount of Mazda 3 owners here in the US if it is ever released...
        • 5 Years Ago
        We will, in two years. Just be patient, grasshopper.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'll import one if we can't get it here (I just saw a JDM Toyota Corolla Fielder (wagon) in my area).
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ford, please post a video of this pointless, wasteful excercise. I love Ring videos!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Awww, ain't that cute- Ford's trying to get in on the party.

      Really though, that's a pretty slick looking car. Too bad it's front wheel drive.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Do you have no knowledge of Ford's rally history?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ford. How can I buy your cars, if you don't bring the sporty ones here? (Mustang is too big and too heavy for my tastes).
        • 5 Years Ago
        Still not helping me though...
        • 5 Years Ago
        I believe Euro-Fords are available in Mexico.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If they find a tire that creates faster track times, then they offer that tire to the customer, that's not cheating in my book.
        • 5 Years Ago
        While it's not cheating to offer race tires (ya i know they are DOT, but these days that doesn't mean a damn thing), it is a cheap way of winning.
        Street car records should be based on tires that have a minimum treadwear rating.
        This would be the same as they did with the ACR viper, which may hold the record, but IMO doesn't deserve it.
        It just doesn't hold any relevance to the street, nobody drives around on a daily basis on 4 road race tires. I've driven around on drag radials for brief periods in my life, and honestly, it's just unrealistic to do it for a cars entire life span.

        As a ford fan, i hope they do it on regular tires.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @jcar Not that I'm totally disagreeing with you, but I just wanted to point out that treadwear rating is almost a worthless standard to uphold against. It barely is a standard in fact. The government barely regulates it, and tire mfg's can pretty much set what they think their tires' treadwear rating is at their whim.

        Not to mention that tire tech is always changing. Today's street tires were yesterday's slicks, figuratively speaking. Therefore, the best way of going about it is to familiarize yourself with current tires, and to have companies publish exactly what tires they are using. For performance lap times, that's as important as any other major figure like curb weight or torque, if not more.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Looks like Subaru WRX
      • 5 Years Ago
      10:08 - Ford Transit diesel - driver: Sabine Schmitz

      What's the point of circling the 'Ring?

      It used to be 0-60, quarter-mile, now it's the 'Ring, tomorrow it will be 100 to Zero, day after that 46 to 64.5 mph on 4th... just because some twit would bother to measure that parameter and the company would spend millions marketing the "feat".
        • 5 Years Ago
        @why not the LS2LS7?

        I'm not sure why that's a bad thing, hyper-optimized or not. The ring is a good general case course; it has a little of everything: sweepers, tight turns, straights, etc. I'd rather have a car optimized for that than just a straight line or a slalom.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed. The value of the N-Ring times was that it was a neutral measure you could use on cars. Now that car companies hyper-optimize for the ring the times have lost a lot of their value. It's like studying for the test, you improve your test score without necessarily improving your actual skill proportionally.
      • 5 Years Ago
      get 'em Ford!

      The only reason we don't have these cool Fords here is because our regulations are so strict. Bumpers needs to be so high, 3rd brake light. (insert) needs to be so far away. (insert) needs so many airbags, bulkhead front lights. no side markers... and so forth. That's the reason why we don't have a lot of foreign cars here.

      you ever notice how all those Euro cars have the sweet open front grills? well their bumper regulations are different than ours. Remember when the new body Evo got released here? they slapped that bumper over the open grill for the US.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The EU has more onerous front end regulations than the US now. This is probably why this doesn't have an open front end (just a big hole), it has a mesh over it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's like Ford hates America... and money, they won't release the Focus RS here and we got to wait for the Fiesta *sigh*.
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