“The Ford Focus RS is available in North America for the first time ever, and it’s even better than we were expecting,” said AutoGuide Group Editorial Director Jonathan Yarkony. “Its combination of hard-core performance in a practical package made it an undeniable choice for this year’s AutoGuide.com 2017 Car of the Year.
The Focus RS was pitted against some stiff competition, as AutoGuide’s team of editors evaluated the very best new models this year during five intensive days of back-to-back testing in Southern California.
In the end, after falling in love with the Focus RS’s drive, its impressive value sealed the deal.
Jamal Hameedi, Ford Performance Chief Engineer, said: “It’s an honor to receive this top prize from AutoGuide.com. The success of Focus RS throughout 2016 is testament to the entire Ford team who put all of their energy into creating such a special car to capture the heart of any driving enthusiast.”
The RS builds on what drivers liked about the Focus ST and makes it truly hardcore. The biggest upgrades to the rally-inspired racer are that all-wheel-drive system and the 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder that provides an addictive 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. That engine is hooked up exclusively to a slick six-speed manual, and with power to all four wheels, drivers have maximum traction powering out of corners. On top of all that, it’s still amazingly accessible with hatchback versatility and an easy-to-live-with nature.
“Congratulations to the team at Ford,” said Yarkony. “The Ford Focus RS is one of those rare cars that gets massive hype, and then still delivered beyond our wildest expectations. Not only is it a great deal on paper as a practical, all-wheel drive hatchback, but it leaps right to the top of the hot hatch segment with 350 hp, an enthusiast’s choice manual transmission and, best of all, its engaging character.”