Somewhat unsurprisingly, the Ford Focus RS is a contender for a 2017 “Automobile All-Stars” award – a flurry of awards doled out annually by Automobile Magazine to the most-compelling cars available at the time.
The Ford Focus RS, which has been available in the United States since last spring, is the first RS-badged Focus to go on sale here. Its 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine produces 350 horsepower with 350 lb-ft of torque, channeled exclusively through a 6-speed manual gearbox to a clever, sophisticated all-wheel-drive system developed with GKN.
Famously, it also has a “Drift” driving mode, which optimizes the car’s suspension, steering, ESC, etc. for turning the tires to smoke.
Automobile contributor Nelson Ireson called the Focus RS “possibly one of the quickest street cars on any given road on any given day. [It’s] easy to drive hard, eminently tossable, and supremely sorted at the limit.” Car and Driver observed similar expedience when they put the 2016 Ford Focus RS around Virginia International Raceway for last year’s “Lightning Lap” track test, recording a fast lap of just 3 minutes and 3.9 seconds. That’s more than a second quicker than the 2015 Ford Mustang GT lapped the track, and nearly five seconds quicker than the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C.
To find out whether the Mk III Ford Focus RS has been deemed worthy of a 2017 Automobile All-Stars award, check back on March 11th.