Ford Focus RS500
The new Focus RS500 features a muscular 345 HP 2.5-litre 5-cylinder engine, which generates 15 per cent more power than the standard Focus RS and delivers truly exhilarating performance.
The RS500’s breathtaking power is matched by an equally dramatic appearance. The limited edition model sports a unique matt black 'foil' paint finish with matching alloy wheels to deliver a powerful visual impact which is unlike any other production Ford.
“We were determined to mark the end of production for the current and acclaimed Focus RS with something even more special,” said Joe Bakaj, Ford of Europe's vice president for Product Development. “From its stunning looks to its intoxicating performance, we have no doubt that the RS500 will be appreciated and quickly snapped up by performance car enthusiasts.
“This vehicle joins a long line of iconic RS Fords and is a worthy recipient of the RS500 name, which became synonymous with success on the road and track with the legendary Sierra RS500 Cosworth that dominated saloon car racing during the late 1980s,” Bakaj added.
The RS500 marks the end of production for the current generation Focus RS, with the last vehicles scheduled to leave Ford’s Saarlouis Assembly Plant in Germany during September 2010.
While overwhelming customer demand has ensured that total Focus RS output is expected to exceed 11,000 units (significantly more than the 7,000 to 8,000 originally forecast), production of the RS500 will start at Ford's Saarlouis plant in Germany during May and will be strictly limited to 500 customer vehicles for twenty European markets.
Each RS500 will carry a metal plaque on the centre console, hand-engraved with a unique identification number from 001 to 500.
A small number of pre-production vehicles produced for internal Ford use – such as product development or press demonstrators – will have their own unique numbering scheme, to ensure the exclusivity of the 500 customer cars.
Demand for the RS500 is expected to exceed supply by a considerable margin, and the full production run of just 500 vehicles is being allocated across 20 European markets in line with the anticipated level of interest. For some countries, the very small number of vehicles allocated means the RS500 will, indeed, be a very exclusive purchase for its customers.
“The more urgent engine sound and sheer thrust of the mid-range performance tell the driver immediately that this is not a standard Focus RS,” said Gunnar Herrmann, Ford’s Global C-Car Vehicle Line Director. “With 15 per cent more power and the same gutsy, sporting character, our new powertrain gives the RS500 the special engine it deserves.”
To provide the RS500 with a fitting power unit, the 305 PS turbocharged Duratec RS
2.5-litre engine from the standard Focus RS has been upgraded to deliver significantly more top-end and mid-range power, but without compromising the base engine’s strength and responsiveness at lower revs.
Peak power is increased by 45 HP to 345 HP at 6,000rpm, while torque has been increased from 440 to 460Nm, delivered across a broad speed range from 2,500 to 4,500rpm.
To achieve the required balance of muscular mid-range and top-end performance, the engine has benefitted from a comprehensive package of enhancements aimed at improving the engine’s breathing and combustion.
The changes include a significantly larger air-to-air intercooler to deliver a cooler, denser charge; a larger air filter box for increased airflow; larger diameter exhaust downpipe; and an uprated fuel pump, along with an updated software calibration to optimise the performance of the revised engine.
“The engine’s improved breathing has allowed us to increase power without having to raise turbo boost pressure significantly,” explained Herrmann. “This has made it possible to enhance peak performance while maintaining the excellent driveability, fuel consumption and emissions of the standard Focus RS.”
Preliminary performance figures for the Focus RS500 indicate that it achieves 0-100km/h in 5.6 seconds, with a top speed similar to the 263 km/h in the standard RS.
A key factor in the success of the latest generation Focus RS has been its advanced front wheel drive chassis, which combines a wider track, the unique ‘RevoKnuckle’ front suspension design and a Quaife helical limited slip differential to deliver responsive steering, outstanding traction and a minimum of unwanted torque steer.
The same chassis design has proved equally effective in handling the increased torque levels of the Focus RS500, and the specification is unchanged for this application, helping to retain the same sporting and responsive dynamic character which is central to the appeal of the acclaimed standard Focus RS.
The high-performance braking system, and the 19-inch wheels and 235/35/R19 tyres, are also carried over unchanged from the standard vehicle, although red brake calipers and a dramatic black finish for the alloy wheels are unique to the RS500.
Attention to detail on the RS500 exterior is also reflected inside the car, with a series of special features which are unique to this limited edition model.
The centre console is distinguished by the car's individually-numbered metal plaque, and by a unique carbon-effect finish to the bezel which carries a distinctive RS pattern.
In contrast to the blue detailing on the standard Focus RS, the RS500 features a special red colour scheme, notably on the stitching of the leather trim on the steering wheel, door trim and gear lever gaiter, and on the floor mats.
Customers also have the option of specifying the bespoke Recaro front sports seats in full red leather, to further enhance the visual impact.
Source: Ford press