Ford committed an outright insult to humanity when it only produced 101 examples of the Focus RS500. Even at over $54,000 at current conversion rates, the cars sold out licked-split in the UK, leaving plenty of diehard Blue Oval fans without the hottest of the company's hatches. In an attempt to right that wrong, Ford has released an upgrade kit that will give the standard 305 horsepower RS the teeth it needs to run with the big-daddy RS500.
The engineers at Ford have managed to pull an extra 45 horsepower from the turbo I5 by swapping out the stock intercooler and air box for trick Ford Racing pieces, bolting on a higher volume fuel pump and remapping the stock ECU. The whole kit will set you back around $3,000, which means you could be in an RS500 clone for nearly $10k less than what the real deal would cost you. We'll take ours in Frozen White, please. Hop the jump for the press release.
* All 101 right-hand drive Ford Focus RS500 models sold out at £35,450 each
* Ford-approved engine upgrade for new and existing Focus RS owners, to meet unprecedented demand
* Peak output boosted to 350PS and 460Nm of torque – matches RS500
* Engine modifications developed in partnership with Mountune Performance
* Full testing and durability programme ensures no impact on standard Ford warranty
BRENTWOOD, Essex, 19 April, 2010 – With all 101 Ford Focus RS500 models snapped up by UK fast Ford fans within days of launch, Ford is responding to the intense customer demand with an officially-approved Focus RS performance upgrade kit.
Ford Focus RS owners can now give their 'regular' 305PS superhatch an extra 45PS and 20Nm of torque.
This allows those who could not secure one of Ford's ultra-limited-edition, matt black RS500s to upgrade any latest-generation RS to match the power – if not the exclusivity – of Ford's fastest-ever Focus road car.
Developed by Ford Team RS, in partnership with Mountune Performance (MP) and offering similar performance to the RS500, the MP350 RS upgrade will be launched through selected Ford dealers across the UK.
Comprising a larger intercooler and air filter box, larger diameter exhaust downpipe and a higher-capacity fuel pump, along with uprated software calibration, it remains the only officially-approved Focus RS upgrade package.
Mark Simpson, Ford Britain marketing director, said: "Focus RS500 has raised the Ford performance bar in every way – it's the fastest-selling model in Ford's UK history, with five times more customers than we had cars for. The MP350 kit has been developed to meet some of this additional demand and allow enthusiasts with cars in standard tune to enjoy even greater performance, without endangering their warranty. If you couldn't get an RS500, which sold out within seven days, this is the next best thing."
Following the rush for an exclusive RS500 in the last days of March, Ford is allocating the UK's 101 right-hand drive versions to dealerships in proportion with their share of overall Ford Focus RS sales.