The latest version of Ford’s hot hatch has quite rightly won it much acclaim over the past three years but its time is now coming to an end.
Before they consign this wonderful piece of technology to the legend, Ford has decided to give it one final flourish in the shape of the 2018 Ford Focus RS Limited Edition before wheeling out its replacement. With only 1,500 cars to be released throughout the whole of North America, it would be viewed as a publicity stunt if it wasn’t for the fact that this resulting car is actually worthy of a much wider release than the one it’s receiving.
2018 Ford Focus RS Limited Edition Exterior
The most remarkable thing about this new version of the RS is the fact that in designing it, Ford began by paying attention to the opinions that their customers were telling the world. From the voices of message boards around the world and arguably one of the biggest field tests in automotive history, Ford then looked to put right what was perceived as the biggest practical failings in their flagship hatchback.
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The results of which have seen little change brought about to the aesthetics and physical appearance of the Focus RS, with the same size chassis, the same dimensions, the same 19” wheels, and the same streamlined body sitting above it all.
The changes that have been made are almost limited to the palette used to color the final design. With a new glossed black roof and wing mirrors to match the new lick of black gloss paint across the top of the rear spoiler, the addition of the RS logo printed on the wing is about as exciting as it gets. Not everything is more though, as this model will be restricted to an overall color choice of either red or blue, or as Ford has branded it, Nitrous Blue or Race Red.
Ford Focus RS Limited Edition 2018 Interior
It’s a similar story inside the car as it is on the outside, with little difference to note between this new and the current model which is currently in showrooms across the world. Fitted again with the RS2 package which includes a carbon-fibre interior trim and bucket seats to seat you in comfort beneath the black roof, the designers have unfortunately failed to heed the lack of inspiration within the interior.
While the new RS is not short on technology aids from the voice-activated guidance system to the heated steering wheel, again there is little extra in the way of new features. What Ford has done instead is to add in all of the top-line features currently available which makes this more of an appreciation and celebration of what they’ve achieved in recent years as opposed to a significant step forwards.
From a cursory glance across the spec sheet and a quick look under the hood, it appears that the beating heart of the new focus has also remained untouched. While the 2.3-liter, Turbocharged engine still provides the Focus with an identically colossal 350 hp and a staggering 350 lb·ft of torque to will power it along from 0-62 mph in 4.7 seconds, there has been one hugely significant alteration.
The Focus now comes with a Quaife engineered, limited slip differential. This might seem like an exercise in upgrading jargon and little else, but the new automatic torque biasing differential produces a seismic difference to the handling of the car in real terms which the stats don’t show.
The new LSD (Limited Slip Differential) is a top of the range product at distributing the enormous power of the Focus across each of the wheels in this AWD vehicle. The problem that it corrects is to re-emphasize the power where it’s most needed, namely, away from the front axle which has less grip than the rear. The LSD can intelligently switch this emphasis between wheels within 0.06 seconds and furthermore, can control the intensity of the brakes independently which also improves traction to not only give it a much more meaty level of performance. This makes the car a lot more stable in cornering which just adds to the fun when you’re behind the wheel.
Price and release data
The limited edition Focus will be released towards the end of this year with only 1,000 cars available in the States and a further 500 being made available in Canada.
The limited version will be priced at $41,995 which is a price increase of around $5,000 on top of the 2017 edition, however, while this may seem on face value as an indecent rise for what is essentially a similar car, adding the extra options to the base price of the 2018 version will effectively give you this very same price.
While it actually only contains one main difference from the 2017 model, the limited edition Focus RS has again upped the stakes in drivability. While the chances of driving one of these cars will be few and far between, Ford has used this release to pay their respects to a masterful feat of engineering which shows how happy Ford has become with this generation of one of their most popular products.
2018 Ford Focus RS Limited Edition pictures