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Darth Vader's hot hatch unveiled

2010-03-30 08:05
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Ford
Model FOCUS RS500
Engine 2.5l turbocharged five-cylinder
Power 258kW
Torque 460Nm
Zero To Hundred 260km/h
Top Speed 5.6 sec
A hacker’s (alleged) ingenuity has forced Ford’s hand in unveiling images of its much vaunted Focus RS500 a day earlier than planned.

Wednesday this week was marked as the date all Ford enthusiasts were waiting for in anticipation. The American car giant would reveal the hottest hatch ever built – the company’s Focus RS500.

Well, thanks to some site hacking, Ford's been forced to divulge the details a day earlier - and we can't say we're at all disappointed with this state of affairs...

Quick enough

A limited edition version of the Focus RS, these ‘500’ monikered cars boost a power figure of 258kW and peak rotational force to 460Nm courtesy of a new induction kit and revised exhaust plumbing.

Heroically the 2.5l turbocharged five-cylinder engine’s drive is channelled exclusively through the front wheels.

To ensure some remnant of dynamic fluidity, Ford’s retained the RS’s fabled trick RevoKnuckle front suspension and Quaife limited-slip differential – which should keep power delivery and torque steer in check, somewhat…

In terms of performance Ford says the Focus RS500 will run the 0-100km/h benchmark in 5.6 seconds and top out at 260km/h. Quick enough for something originally designed to go shopping and drop the kids off at school…

Revolve technologies (formerly Roush technologies, establish back in 1995) subsidiary Mountune, who specialise in track and rally racing engine preparation, was sub-contracted to develop the RS500 package.

The badge - done justice?

The RS500 badge is a hallowed one in the Ford performance portfolio, cueing an enviable heritage thanks to the legendary Sierra Cosworth models of the 1980s – which were, quite sensibly, all-wheel drive by comparison…

Beyond the sinister matte black surface finish the RS500’s will be recognisable by the 19-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels (masking red contrasting brake callipers), larger aft hatch spoiler and diffuser air management combination and red/blue ‘RS500’ badging.

The cabin’s seats are upholstered in red (instead of the Focus RS’s blue) and some faux carbon centre console detailing acts as a backdrop for the serialised 'edition' plaques.

Cabin's red seats contrast perfectly with the Darth Vader exterior and interior touch surfaces.

An EU zone exercise

In terms of global market allocation the RS500 is a very exclusive exercise.

Only 500 will be made and they’re only going to be sold in 20 European markets. The U.K. (being the world’s most active hot hatch market) predictably gets the largest allocation (101 units), with Germany next (55 cars), then France and Belgium (50 each).

South Africa is, predictably, is excluded. Although we have seen a few SADC registered Focus RSs running around the country…

In the fullness of time the idea of this front-wheel drive, 258kW hot hatch might be seen as folly. In the here and now, one has to admire Ford for giving the brand’s hot hatch fans everything they could ever dream of in a car.


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