July 3, 2022

For a lot of Blue Oval followers the last word sizzling hatchback, the Ford Focus RS Mk2 is a shouty, big-spoilered show-off with the balls to again it up. Right here’s methods to purchase a bank-busting bruiser with on a regular basis driveability, growling five-pot soundtrack and 1000bhp potential.

Information type Quick Ford journal. Phrases: Dan Williamson.

Why you desire a Ford Focus RS Mk2

  • For a lot of Blue Oval followers, the Ford Focus RS Mk2 remains to be the most effective Focus, with an ideal mix of highway presence, gutsy energy, sharp dealing with and inimitable five-cylinder soundtrack. A number of Mk3 homeowners have gone again to Mk2s.
  • Stupendous tuneability sees people extracting 1000bhp from the five-pot motor, and it’s an addictive arms race – though even a cheeky remap provides grins.
  • Most likely the final ever three-door RS, so that you will be sure your cash is secure, particularly in a normal, concours instance.

Why you don’t desire a Ford Focus RS Mk2

RS badge or not, to your neighbours the picture is identical as a Mk2 Focus ST – so put your baseball cap on backwards earlier than shopping for.

Temptations to change is probably not splendid: big energy prices massive bucks, it’s not often useable, not essentially dependable, and can devalue an authentic RS. And there’ll at all times be another person going 1bhp higher.

Proudly owning the cleanest or lowest-mileage RS is nigh on inconceivable; traders have been shopping for delivery-mileage Focus RS Mk2s since day one.

Ford Focus Mk2 historical past

September 2004 – Focus Mk2 launched in Europe, with engines as much as 2.0-litre. No high-performance choice is accessible.

September 2005 – Focus ST launched, dubbed ST225 on account of 225PS (222bhp) Volvo-based five-cylinder engine with KKK turbo. Supplied as three- or five-door hatchback, with bodykit and 18in alloy wheels.

December 2007 – Facelifted Focus ST launched with revised bodywork (lights, bonnet and bumpers). Ford pronounces upcoming 300bhp ST-based Focus RS.

July 2008 – Focus RS Mk2 idea debuts on the 2008 London Worldwide Motor Present.

March 2009 – Focus RS Mk2 out there in UK, based mostly on three-door ST225 however with uprated (301bhp) model of the ST’s 2.5-litre engine, ATB limited-slip differential, RevoKnuckle entrance suspension, 336mm entrance brakes, 19in alloys, large wheelarches, full bodykit, WRC rear wing and Recaro bucket seats. Obtainable in Frozen White, Efficiency Blue or Final Inexperienced.

April 2010 – Focus RS500 launched, with 3M satin-black wrap over Panther Black paintwork. Energy is elevated to 345bhp with Mountune MP350 conversion. Black wheels and numbered/engraved dashboard plaque are included.

July 2010 – RS500 manufacturing ends after 500 constructed (not together with prototypes); 101 automobiles have been destined for the UK.

September 2010 – Focus RS Mk2 ends Saarlouis manufacturing after roughly 11,500 constructed, together with 4209 UK gross sales.

January 2011 – Focus Mk2 vary discontinued. Changed by Focus Mk3.

Ford Focus RS Mk2 Key Factors


Robust and tuneable however watch out for tough idle on a heavily-modified machine. Verify the supply of any oil leaks very rigorously.


Nearly unburstable, though the clutch gained’t final perpetually, particularly when pushed laborious. Verify for clutch slip on the test-drive.


Susceptible to decrease wishbone bush failure, snapped springs, wobbly RevoKnuckle joints, damaged rear drop hyperlinks and extreme entrance tyre put on. All part of RS possession.


Rusty rear wheelarches have affected big numbers of RSs, and injury is a giant signal to steer clear. Stone chips are frequent.


The RS is a magnet for thievery, so double-check its id. And watch out you’re not shopping for a faux, ringer or rep constructed from nicked bits – there are disturbingly giant numbers round.

What to look out for when shopping for a Ford Focus RS Mk2


Watch out for fakes, ringers and RSs on excellent finance. A correct historical past examine is significant (not only a low-cost cellphone app), and an RS with full service historical past is price additional money. If there’s just one key, be suspicious.

Examine the id numbers on the logbook match the VIN sticker (on the motive force’s facet B-pillar), chassis quantity (stamped into the ground beneath a flap within the carpet beside the motive force’s seat) and tag affixed to the passenger-side dashboard (seen by way of the windscreen from exterior). If potential, join an OBDII code reader to verify the ECU matches the VIN.


A worrying variety of RS replicas have been constructed based mostly on lesser Focuses, so look beneath carpets and internal panels for proof of a color change. ST-based replicas are all properly and good, however price significantly lower than an RS – and if constructed utilizing elements from a stolen automotive, could possibly be seized by police. Worse nonetheless, a faux sporting an RS id ought to be averted.

When you fancy an RS500, guarantee all of the package is current: satin-black wrap, black wheels, purple callipers, greater intercooler and airbox, uprated gasoline pump, purple seat stitching, plus hand-engraved plaque on the centre console. All manufacturing RS500s have been constructed between Might and July 2010, and the VIN ought to mirror this, beginning in WF0GXXGCDGAJ (Might), WF0GXXGCDGAU (June) or WF0GXXGCDGAM (July), adopted by 5 distinctive numbers.

Ford Focus RS Mk2

Engine & Transmission

Volvo-sourced five-cylinder powerplant is an efficient improve of the ST225’s unit – straightforward to uprate and just about bombproof. Main failures are uncommon, and often reported solely in modified automobiles – hardly stunning as a result of 1000bhp-plus is feasible, albeit with a great deal of lag and destruction of varied drivetrain elements.

Cracked pistons or cylinder liners would exhibit signs of burning oil, head gasket failure or misfiring from a chilly begin. Be certain it’s not smoking, and watch out for oil dripping across the oil filter housing – the diaphragm within the filter/breather can cut up, inflicting crankcase strain to burst seals. At idle, take away the dipstick and pay attention for hissing. In distinction, and fewer worrying, a large oil leak might be coming from a grub screw on the cylinder head, behind the cambelt.

Many Mk2 RSs have been upgraded and later returned to plain, however don’t despair. Some Mk2s left the manufacturing facility quicker than others, so shopping for a tuned RS is smart, though you’ll want to make sure the mods have been made by a good specialist. Round 450bhp is good for a highway automotive on inventory internals.

Researching RSs will present you tales of exploding inlet plenums (simply two items of plastic glued collectively), which blew the bonnet vents off automobiles on account of misfires. But Collins Efficiency has labored on a whole bunch of Mk2s, and by no means seen proof of an exploded inlet – so if it was going to occur, it could have executed so by now.

Verify the service historical past – it ought to be yearly/each 12,000 miles, with auxiliary belts at 60k and cambelt at 100,000 miles. Regulate fluid ranges as a result of a foul RS can glug one litre of oil each 3000 miles; coolant leaks are frequent – typically from the radiator leaking at its corners (even on uprated rads) or hoses rubbing on engine mounts.

Watch out for poor working – it could simply be that your RS is on previous software program, however may equally be an ECU fault (in all probability after unhealthy tuning or cut up wiring) or one thing amiss with an engine sensor. MAF, oxygen, gasoline strain and increase sensors all play up, with increase solenoids often accountable for slicing increase strain.

Pay attention for high-pitched whistling (like a squealing belt), possible attributable to loosening exhaust manifold studs. They want changing, not tightening – which might result in them shearing off, which means cylinder head elimination.

Alternator failure isn’t uncommon (examine the battery warning gentle on the sprint), and cooling followers generally fail on account of corrosion. Examine the loom for breaks and chafing – particularly on a high-mileage machine.

Unburstable with a inventory engine, the RS Mk2’s transmission isn’t fairly so completely satisfied being requested to cope with huge inputs of torque – the inventory Getrag Ford Durashift M66 six-speed will ultimately break behind an 800bhp motor, and the driveshafts will disintegrate.

In fact, the usual clutch gained’t final perpetually. It is going to survive 400bhp-plus even when abused, however it is best to anticipate it to require substitute at round 60,000-to-70,000 miles. Verify it isn’t worn by taking a take a look at drive in fifth gear and booting the throttle at 2000rpm; if the clutch is slipping, the revs will rise however the automotive gained’t choose up pace.


Evidently, a previously-modified (but now normal) RS might have had a tough life, so be additional vigilant.

The inventory Quaife ATB ought to trigger no hassle, and there ought to be no nasty noises. The usual gearchange isn’t nice, however a short-shifter will enhance the texture immensely.

Ford Focus RS Mk2

Suspension & Brakes

Evolutionary RevoKnuckle entrance suspension was what actually set the RS aside from the ST225, however it’s not with out its downsides.

Heavy tyre put on is typical, particularly when the automotive is pushed laborious; anticipate the fronts to be drained inside just a few thousand miles. Good-quality rubber is important, so if an RS is rolling on low-cost Chinese language tyres, it’s an indication of poor repairs.

Excessive-mileage machines are beginning to present put on within the knuckles’ ball-joints, with perishing and clonking. RevoKnuckle items are vastly costly, and even the joints are dear; substitute isn’t easy. Likewise, entrance wheel bearings (a standard downside; pay attention for rumbling) should be changed on an enormous workshop press to accommodate the RevoKnuckles – not a job to be tackled at residence.

Entrance decrease arm bushes are weak, and susceptible to failure; get somebody to reverse automotive and contact the brakes – if the bushes are worn you’ll see extreme motion on the entrance wheels. Polyurethane replacements are beneficial.

Look beneath a well-used Mk2, and also you’ll see plenty of floor corrosion on suspension enhances. Entrance subframes look significantly rusty; they’re the identical as ST225 components however with 4 white nylon insulators to house down the subframe. Verify for splitting of the plastic. Replacements are nonetheless out there from Ford.

A number of RSs are failing MOTs on damaged entrance coil springs, and when eliminated are sometimes accompanied by floppy dampers. OEM components will be purchased new, however Collins Efficiency recommends high-quality aftermarket decreasing springs, which have a tendency to enhance the RS’s crashy/rock-hard trip high quality.

Homeowners typically report rattles and squeaks from beneath the boot, usually on account of perished anti-roll bar drop hyperlink bushes (the RS has a Kuga rear subframe with uprated anti-roll bar, which positions the drop hyperlinks at a clumsy angle). Ford now not provides replacements, however aftermarket choices can be found; Whiteline adjustable drop hyperlinks can be utilized, set to plain size if most well-liked.

Inventory RS stoppers have 336mm entrance discs and 300mm rears, which ought to nonetheless be working properly. In the event that they’re worn, they’re dear to switch, so guarantee there’s loads of meat left and there’s no juddering felt by way of the pedal. Slight clunking might be the pads shifting towards the discs, and no trigger for concern.

Watch out for points with the ABS system, significantly the wiring. Take a look at by turning the steering wheel from lock to lock, and watching the dashboard devices; if the engine administration gentle comes on, the mileage show disappears and the traction management lamp illuminates, the automotive’s ABS wires are most certainly torn and can want repairing or a substitute part of loom. If the ABS lamp stays on, it’s possible a wheel sensor or cable.


Recaro seats have been normal within the RS, with colour-coded cloth panels to match the physique’s paintwork – inexperienced with Final Inexperienced, or blue with Frozen White or Efficiency Blue. Ebony partial-leather was non-compulsory at additional price.

Seat put on tends to outcome from how the automotive’s been used, and the construct of its driver. If the proprietor is heavy or frequently getting out and in, the bolsters could also be collapsing and the material splitting. The answer is to switch the bolster foam and have the material retrimmed. Scuffed leather-based is definitely touched in with specialist paints.

Some homeowners report the seats progressively reclining throughout use; it is a typical Recaro trait, and could also be solved by changing a fibre washer contained in the adjuster knob.

Many individuals additionally moan concerning the excessive driving place. It may be dropped by eradicating the seat and utilizing the decrease mounting holes. Alternatively, extra-low seat runners can be found, though they’re not low-cost at over £350 every/£650 per pair.

The remainder of the cabin is remarkably sturdy, and solely begins to look worn with excessive mileage. Watch out for any glowing dashboard lamps, and guarantee all of them gentle up when the ignition is switched on.

Verify the air con will get chilly (condenser failure is sort of frequent). DAB radios are recognized to trigger hassle (generally cured with firmware updates), and central locking mechanisms sometimes fail; happily, they’re the identical as another Focus’s.

See also  BMW E92 335I TUNING GUIDE

Count on to pay roughly £750 extra for Luxurious Pack 1 – dual-zone computerized local weather management, rear parking sensors, rain-sensing wipers, key-free begin, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, tyre deflation detection and Bluetooth with voice management. Luxurious Pack 2 (out there solely along with Lux Pack 1) added touchscreen DVD navigation and audio system, and prices a premium on the used market. Be certain the touch-screen works appropriately, and that the reversing digicam isn’t cracked or fogging up. Consumers additionally are likely to pay extra for non-compulsory Bluetooth connectivity and USB port.


RS bodywork was unique, so put together to pay closely if any of the spoilers or particular panels are broken. Wheelarch liners are a specific instance – when new they have been riveted collectively by hand to fill the large RS arches, and lots of at the moment are lacking after the engine undershield has fallen off and so they’ve dragged towards tyres. Substitute liners are costly, however you may make your individual utilizing two ST225 liners joined collectively.

Clearly, watch out for accident injury (look out for poor panel alignment and dodgy paintwork) however don’t be involved by stone chips (quite common on the bonnet, bumper, wheelarches and skirts) or if the bodykit doesn’t match the shade of the metallic panels – they have been painted in a distinct manufacturing facility earlier than being fitted to every automotive.

Many Mk2s now have rusty rear wheelarches, notably the rear corners the place they attain the bumper. Not like STs, RSs don’t but appear to be affected by corrosion on the sills, doorways and internal wheelarches – however it’s solely a matter of time.

Look at the boot ground and spare wheel properly for dampness, which might result in rot. Rainwater tends to dribble in by way of the back lights, roof rails, tailgate hinges and even the spoiler fixings. Rattling from the rear wing is remedied by securing with sealant.

Verify across the headlights and grille for rubbed-away paintwork or rust, and make sure the bonnet lock works; the discharge mechanism is susceptible to failing. Be certain the washer jet covers are nonetheless in place – they have an inclination to get stolen, and so they’re extra dear to switch than you’d anticipate.

You in all probability have already got a color choice, however all shades are price the same sum. That’s besides Panther Black automobiles, in fact, which have been satin-black-wrapped as a part of the RS500 bundle. Count on to pay double the worth of an everyday RS for an RS500, and don’t be shocked to see a tatty wrap: many have now been re-wrapped a number of instances.

Tech Spec: Ford Focus RS Mk2


2522cc in-line five-cylinder, 20-valve, DOHC Duratec with alloy block and head, solid crankshaft and connecting rods, graphite-coated piston sleeves, 8.5:1 compression ratio, toothed belt drive, Ti-VCT (twin impartial variable cam timing), Borg Warner K16 turbocharger, intercooler, sequential digital gasoline injection, Bosch ME 9.0 ECU


Entrance-wheel drive with Getrag Ford Durashift M66 six-speed guide gearbox, Quaife computerized torque biasing (ATB) limited-slip differential, uprated driveshafts, 240mm clutch


Entrance: MacPherson struts, gas-filled dampers, coil springs, 24mm anti-roll bar, RevoKnuckle with fastened mount to anti-roll bar; rear: impartial short-long arm management blade multi-link system, gas-filled dampers, coil springs, 24mm anti-roll bar; 40mm wider observe, digital stability programme (ESP) and Traction Help (TA)


Entrance: 336mm ventilated discs; rear: 300mm offered discs; ABS with digital brake drive distribution (EBD)

Wheels & Tyres:

8.5x19in 15-spoke RS alloys and Continental 235/35×18 tyres


Three-door Focus hatchback physique with wider wheelarches, RS bodykit together with entrance bumper with fog lights and piano black mesh grille, deeper facet skirts and rear bumper, black WRC-style roof spoiler, chromed xenon headlamps, bonnet vents, RS-badged wing vents, rear privateness glass. Luxurious Pack 1 provides rear parking sensors and rain-sensing wipers. Obtainable in Frozen White, Efficiency Blue, Final Inexperienced or Panther Black with matt black vinyl wrap (RS500 solely)


Recaro entrance seats with colour-keyed blue or inexperienced cloth facet bolsters (partial-leather-trim non-compulsory), three-spoke RS steering wheel, extra angled dashboard gauges, carbon-look dashboard trim, aluminium gearknob and pedals, black headlining. Luxurious Pack 1 provides local weather management, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, tyre deflation detection and key-free system. Luxurious Pack 2 provides touch-screen DVD navigation. Elective USB port and Bluetooth