The 2017 Ford Focus RS has a singular… well, focus: Drive fast. And it accomplishes that mission, but it does so at the expense of most other attributes.
The Focus RS made its debut in 2016, the first of Ford’s RS models to make it to American shores in a long while. But now, thanks to Ford’s new global emphasis, what’s made here is sold everywhere and vice versa. And after driving the Focus RS, I’m glad it’s finally made the jump across the pond.
The 2017 Focus RS returns without any notable changes for the new model year.
Even with the mothballing of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, we’ve suddenly stumbled from a performance-compact desert to an oasis of rally-inspired options. Competing with the Focus RS for hot-hatch stardom are the Volkswagen Golf R, Subaru WRX STi and the forthcoming 2018 Honda Civic Type R that’s expected this spring.
I covered a lot of ground in my week with the Focus RS, from winding mountain roads to the traffic-clogged arteries of Los Angeles. And just as speed can vary on those freeways, so did my feelings about the RS.