At the 2015 New York International Auto Show Ford had a big booth right inside the front door of the convention center. There were the usual Explorers and Fusions lined up on the floor, of course. But on three slowly rotating platforms, Ford made their real statement. The three featured cars in Ford’s display were the track day monster Mustang Shelby GT350R, the stunning all carbon fiber Ford GT supercar, and the Focus RS: a 315 horsepower, all-wheel-drive, torque-vectoring hot hatch that looks ready to take the Subaru WRX STI’s lunch money. Ford’s message was clear: We make performance cars. And don’t fuck with us.
I’m not sure that the Focus RS is necessarily flattered by that Grabber Blue shade of paint, but looks aren’t why I could picture myself driving (or even owning) one of these. The important things about this car are under the surface: the turbo four cylinder out of the EcoBoost Mustang pumping tons of torque to all four wheels, a 6-speed manual transmission (thank god), and yes, a real actual “drift mode” in which the car’s computer uses that sophisticated torque vectoring to help you achieve Ken Block levels of sideways at the push of a button.
I can see putting four snow tires on a Focus RS and being a lot happier about going through another New York winter. I’ll take mine in black.