The Ford Focus RS, now being delivered to first owners in the UK, was lauded at the Autocar Awards.
The third-generation Focus RS with all-wheel drive and 350PS 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine, achieving 0-62mph in 4.7sec and capable of 165mph, was recognised with a five-star rating by Autocar – ahead of Golf R, Civic Type R, Audi RS3 Sportback and Mercedes-AMG A45.
Jim Holder, Autocar editorial director, said: “Any car that carries Ford’s RS badge also carries with it a weight of expectation – but the latest Focus RS carries that load with ease.
“The most fun you can have in a hot hatch on road or track, the new Focus RS heads our league table for delivering on the edge thrills when you really want to push – all for £31,000.”
RS chief engineer Tyrone Johnson was named Engineer of the Year by Autocar.
German-born, educated in the US and a Ford engineer of 31 years, Tyrone previously worked on first SVT Mustang of 1992 and the first global Mondeo alongside spells in motorsport. From 1992 to 2003 Tyrone was part of Ford’s Stewart Ford and Jaguar Racing Formula 1 teams, as well as the Ford Focus’ entry into World Rally.
Heading up a team of 20, Tyrone was assigned to the current RS three years ago with the intent to create a ground-breaking all-wheel drive platform from the start: “I’m energised by the team I lead, mainly because I’ve got some real crazy car guys and gals working for me! This Autocar award is for them all.”
Jim Holder said: “Tyrone was asked to reinvent an icon, and he and his team have achieved it in the most spectacular fashion, creating old-school thrills in a totally modern package.”
An online documentary series follows the highs – and lows – of engineering theall-new Focus RS for global sale in 42 countries. All episodes of “Rebirth of an Icon”, covering design studio to unveil and extreme testing in the Arctic and Arizona in between, are on their youtube channel and you can see their video on how the RS was created here