With clever four-wheel drive and a manic engine, the Ford Focus RS is already one of the craziest hatches on the road. Unfortunately, production is coming to an end – and Ford wants to send the car out on a high. Along with a new paint finish, the RS has been fitted with a limited-slip front differential for even more grip.
Ford says the Focus RS Limited Edition has been developed based on feedback from customers and fans of the brand. Some of that feedback, as you can probably tell, centered on the way the car looked – the car now has a matte black roof and rear wing, and the RS badges have been finished in blue. A red paint option has also been added to the spec sheet.
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The mild visual tweaks continue inside, where the door handles, handbrake and gauge pod are wrapped in carbon fiber. Heated RECARO buckets are standard, as is a heated steering wheel, which might be redundant in a car designed to make your palms all sweaty with the way it drives, but it's a nice touch nonetheless.
The RS already has an incredibly clever GKN Twinster four-wheel drive system, but the forum jockeys and Ford enthusiasts wanted a mechanical limited-slip differential on the front axle as well. In response, the RS Limited has been fitted with a Quaife mechanical differential which can limit engine torque to one of the front wheels when it detects slip.
Although you might not notice the difference on the road, Ford says the differential will help the car carry more speed on the racetrack, and accelerate harder on the way out of corners. Coupled with the standard four-wheel drive system, the ability to better claw its way out corners should turn the RS Limited into an absolute track monster.
Power still comes from an EcoBoost engine making the standard 350 hp (261 kW) of power. Ford has chosen not to fit the Mountune package, which seems like a strange decision. The extra 25 hp (19 kW) it brings would help unlock all the potential offered by the mechanical limited-slip differential.
"To satisfy strong demand for the ever-popular Focus RS, I'm very excited that we're bringing this limited-edition vehicle to North America," says Henry Ford, marketing manager at Ford Performance. "We have spent a great deal of time listening to our customers, speaking to owners' club members, reading comments and suggestions on enthusiast websites, and even studying various forum Photoshop renderings."
Just 1,500 examples of the RS Limited will be built, with 1,000 set for the US market and 500 going to Canada. You can take a closer look in the video below.