Fiat Coupe Club UK

Focus RS

Posted By: Gunzi

Focus RS - 08/06/2018 21:48

In February this year I picked up a Focus RS mk3.

I spent a *lot* of time trying to work out what car could possibly replace my Coupe to do between 3-5,000 miles per year in.

It took me quite a while to work out what I wanted but ended up with this list:

- 4 seats and large enough to sit a child in the back comfortably
- At least boot space
- More power / faster
- Ideally with warranty or if not less than 10 years old
- The wife would have to approve / something she would be happy to drive
- Something that would stand out
- Fuel economy to be on par circa 20-25 mpg
- Put a smile on my face when driving
- Petrol cars only
- Nothing German
- At least as good stereo (I spent a lot on my Coupes)
- Sound as good when on full throttle

Trawling through the threads on here were a great help and I considered a number of cars which appealed but fell down in a critical area:
- Jag XKR (rear seats too small)
- Maserati 4200 (reliability fears / cost of repairs)
- Abarth 595 (Acceleration slower than Coupe)
- Lexus ISF (too understated)
- Lotus Europa (rear seats too small)
- Mini Cooper S Works (Acceleration on par with Coupe)
- Impreza Turbo (newer ones were £550 tax and I just couldn't bear to pay the gov't this amount)
- Vauxhall Monaro VXR (everything I'd read said they were slower than they should be)

So after going through the motions I began to realise I wanted a hot hatch and only 2 really stood out - the Honda Civic Type R and the Focus RS. The mk2 RS's Ioved the look of and have the 5 pot engine so sound fabulous but I just thought they were too expensive for their age / mileage.

So I drove a 2015 and a 2018 Civic Type R and while they were both fantastic to drive I drove them both in typical British February wet and damp conditions and it just couldn't get the power down, they would simply spin its wheels. Which given it rais for 5 - 7 months of the year significantly devalued them for me.

I then drove the Focus and while the gear change wasn't as slick as the Honda's it felt as fun to drive and with its 4WD system could get the power down. That made my mind up and then the search began for the spec I wanted. I ended up picking an ex demonstrator which was for sale in Chester. 5 hours on the train a few forms signed and I had a 4 hour drive to get to know it on the way home.

The compromises I ended up making were the sound is no where near as good as my Coupes, for 2 reasons, 1 it's a 4 pot and 2 it pumps fake engine noise through the speakers; the other major compromise was despite the stereo being the 'upgraded' Sony its not as good as my Coupes; and arguably the looks as whilst itís a RS itís still a Ford Focus.

That said I am very happy with it - the Focus has a chunky Recaros, 'Nitrous' Blue paint against black wheels and a few other bits and pieces to keep me happy.

The wife loves it and whenever I travel away from home she ditches her car to drive the Focus!

My Coupe was a big part of my life but it was the right time to move on. At Auto Italia this year I followed MrC in his gorgeous Sprinty in and that made me miss my Coupe.

Anyway here are a couple of photos.

click to enlarge

click to enlarge
Posted By: Theresa

Re: Focus RS - 08/06/2018 22:49

It looks very nice and good colour choice wink laugh

I only live about 15 miles from Chester, you could have called by to let me see it laugh
Posted By: Submariner

Re: Focus RS - 09/06/2018 07:18

Looks nice...sprinty-esque. The Guilia Veloce would definitely have been on my radar if spending that amount....did you consider one?
Posted By: Paul_V

Re: Focus RS - 09/06/2018 12:13

Lovely car.

Has it had the updated head gasket as a few early engines failed because of it? (Ford did a recent recall on this)

They go like stink....enjoy it.
Posted By: Gunzi

Re: Focus RS - 09/06/2018 13:23

Paul - yes she is a Jan 2017 build and is booked in for a headgasket in 2 weeks time at Hendy Performance in Eastleigh who deal with all the recalls in the area. The service manager did a good job of trying to sell me the warranty friendly Mountune 375 upgrade, but I've decided against it for the time being.

Submariner - I had considered it (I went through so many I couldn't remember them all!) and they are gorgeous but 2 reasons went against it 1 I thought it would be marginally slower than my Coupe and I have to park in a city so a shorter car fits into more spaces!

Theresa - if I'd thought about it properly, I would have contacted you!
Posted By: magooagain

Re: Focus RS - 09/06/2018 15:17

Nice car Chris,enjoy. I presume you know that Flea,s other company is a specialist in tuning these fords.
Posted By: Gunzi

Re: Focus RS - 09/06/2018 18:21

Yep I've been chatting to him, although whilst it's in warranty I'm just going to enjoy it as it is..!
Posted By: magooagain

Re: Focus RS - 10/06/2018 11:10

Yes,very wise Chris.
Posted By: HiraethHuw

Re: Focus RS - 10/06/2018 13:23

Very nice, Gunzi.
Is this the RS that has an element of rwd ?
How does it go round the bends?

Interesting that you considered a Europa.
I really want an Esprit mk1 after watching the Spy who Loved me, with the kids last week.
Ahh, carbs ....

I bough a Suzuki s cross instead hehe
Posted By: Gunzi

Re: Focus RS - 10/06/2018 15:00

Yes itís the 4WD one with something like 70% of the power sent to the back.

The grip is amazing but it does slip, Ive yet to work out the point at which it moves from grip to drift. Something Iím planning on doing on a track day!
Posted By: Barmybob

Re: Focus RS - 10/06/2018 21:08

Nice car, I did look at these when replacing my A5. Everything sensible was saying buy the ford, in the end I bought another A5!

Some slight regret, the Ford would certainly have held it's value better, huge demand for these on the second hand market.
Posted By: suba

Re: Focus RS - 11/06/2018 10:22

Very nice - have started looking at these recently also.... smile
Posted By: Mark_S

Re: Focus RS - 11/06/2018 16:51

Nice car and nice colour; they catch my eye too driving
Posted By: bezzer

Re: Focus RS - 12/06/2018 10:56

Good choice Gunzi. Definitely the best colour along with the forged alloys too.

I had a MK3 RS for a day last Autumn when I was looking for a replacement for my Focus ST. Without doubt the best car I've ever driven, and that includes the PPP Scooby STi I had.

The one I drove had the Shell seats which I wasn't that keen on, much prefer the standard Recaros.

In the end I decided to put my sensible hat on and got an A3 as I'm still putting children through Uni. Definitely return to look at again in early 2020.

BTW, have you used Launch Control yet? If not, give it a go, it's awesome
Posted By: Hovedan

Re: Focus RS - 13/06/2018 07:20

Pains me to see a Ford dealers pocket lined for ex demo vehicles. I can get these at trade with no change whatsoever to Fords warranty.
Posted By: Gunzi

Re: Focus RS - 15/06/2018 19:47

Bezzer - mine has the shell seats which I do like vs the original recarros, and it is hilarious fun to drive. Iíve only tried the launch control once and it is truly amazing.

Hovedan - it was a *lot* cheaper than buying a new one. It was 10 months old with 680 miles on the clock and so far hasnít really lost value with another 3k on the clock so Iím happy thumb

It is a fantastic car to drive, the power is very linear and in all honesty I miss the kick of the Coupes turbo, but because of the power delivery it is deceptively fast.
Posted By: Gunzi

Re: Focus RS - 10/06/2019 19:57

Since buying my Focus I have hankered after a sound closer to my Coupe, which didn't have a dump value and made an AMAZING flutter noise on every gear change, which I loved. Admittedly the 4 pot will never sound as good as a 5pot but changing the air filter and recirculation valve for Mountune variants, and removing the under bonnet insulation have made a decent difference to the sound. Not quite at Coupe levels of roar and flutter but better than OEM.

This kept me happy for a few months but it never felt as fast as it should when going through the gears, certainly not as fast as the paint and bodykit would suggest so I decided to sod the remaining 11 months of warranty and buy a Dreamscience remap for it, after all the headgasket was done last summer and the engine hasn't gone pop yet!

It took me quite a while to decide which remap to buy, after all there a lot of flash style maps for the Focus, but I know that in the future I will want 400+ and a liver map so I went with Dreamscience as you can put it on and then remove it and sell it on.

The difference is remarkable, lots more torque in the mid range and it keeps pulling up at the top end. It's a like a completely different car, and much more like how I think it should have been launched!

Here is a video that convinced me to buy the Dreamscience.

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Posted By: pinin_prestatyn

Re: Focus RS - 11/06/2019 22:35

Nice one Gunzi! What sort of power would she make now? Cool little dongle thingy too. The clutch in my Golf lasted a week before slipping after my stage 2 map. It had done 100k. Iíve had to wind the boost back to 1 bar cry Next job is a clutch and new flywheel and then something else will need upgrading rolleyes
Posted By: Gripped

Re: Focus RS - 12/06/2019 20:14

Wow, nice map. Sounds pretty good in that video. Still a 4 pot though wink (I'm just jealous)

We've considered remapping our Giulietta JTDM-2 150bhp. Trouble is, it already has 380Nm of torque, by comparison the well known torquey lump PD 130Tdi VAG unit has 310Nm, so the existing clutch struggles at stock settings. So we'll have to uprate the clutch if we ever re-map it, because it WILL kill it.

Still tempted. But an expensive hobby !
Posted By: Gunzi

Re: Focus RS - 13/06/2019 11:52

Pinin - Dreamscience have 2 development cars, they rolling roaded both and one has 325 and the other 345, all of the data I've seen elsewhere this seems common. Dreamscience say this map adds 40 bhp peak to whatever power the car runs. The peak is great but the power under the curve difference is the huge difference. There is a swell of torque that just wasn't there before it was very linear. And it sounds like my old Coupe, something always needed doing!

Gripped - true and I can't get away from that 4 pot sound! We had a Giulietta JTDM-2 140 bhp version which was a strong motor. Always an expensive hobby smile
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