jstein77
jstein77 UberDork
8/23/21 5:11 p.m.

Next weekend marks my 5th anniversary with my Focus RS, and I must say it’s been a great 5 years.  The car is still my good-looking and reliable daily driver, still runs an occasional autocross, and still gives me pleasure and thrills every time I drive it.  I recently read an article in C&D that described a GTI as giving the driver giggles with every drive, and I feel the same way about the Focus.  I can blast into any corner at what seems like ludicrously high speeds, feel the fronts slip just a little, ignore that and just plant it at the apex, and it rotates, points itself at the exit and flies out of the corner.  Every time I power out with the back end hanging out (something the GTI will never do), I totally laugh out loud and marvel at its performance.

Autocrossing the FoRS has also been a blast.  As a reminder about just how fast this car is, I was doing some novice instruction at our last Daytona event and was running consistent 49 to 50 second runs with even the fastest ones.  I jumped into my own car, and immediately ran a 45.0 on my first run, eventually getting down to a 44.7. Just astonishingly fast.  Here’s some video from my first run, and you can see how tail-happy it was that day for some reason. 

 

We don’t have many well-driven Civic Type R’s running in our area, so the FoRS (either mine or another’s) have dominated D Street for the last few seasons.  I’m pretty sure I won D Street at every event I entered last year, and at this event I was 2nd out of 9 behind seasoned national competitor Mark Allen in another FoRS.  Mark also took 2nd in PAX behind national champion David Marcus.

The time when the FoRS really shines is in slippery conditions.  With its sure-footed suspension and smart AWD, it’s dominant in the rain.  At our May 2018 Daytona event, where it rained lightly all day, I took fastest time of the day over 134 other entrants.  Here’s some video from that day:

 

I plan on keeping this car as long as I can, until either it becomes not reliable enough for a daily driver or, for some reason I’m unable to drive it any longer.  (Here’s hoping that never happens.)  It remains the fastest, most exciting car I’ve ever owned.

(STILL driving on three wheels!)

Jerry

rattfink81
rattfink81 Reader
8/23/21 5:17 p.m.

Congrats, hope it keeps going for you. When I was used car shopping 2 years ago not one popped up near me. I really liked the festia ST but the focus ST didn't seem as fun at legal-ish speeds.

psteav (Forum Supporter)
psteav (Forum Supporter) Dork
8/23/21 5:33 p.m.
rattfink81 said:

Congrats, hope it keeps going for you. When I was used car shopping 2 years ago not one popped up near me. I really liked the festia ST but the focus ST didn't seem as fun at legal-ish speeds.

Apples and oranges, man.  The FiST and FoST are both great, but this is the RS.  Imagine the Focus ST with 98 extra hp and 2 more driven wheels.  

I do agree with you about the FoST seeming a little cold at legal speeds.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
8/23/21 5:41 p.m.

Dang, time flies.  I remember looking at a FiSt back when I stopped driving my Miata in 2014.  

Glad you like the car- it will end up being a classic for small cars, since F does not sell cars in the US anymore (and I don't count the "stang as a car, it's a caricature.)

Slippery
Slippery UberDork
8/23/21 5:44 p.m.
psteav (Forum Supporter) said:
rattfink81 said:

Congrats, hope it keeps going for you. When I was used car shopping 2 years ago not one popped up near me. I really liked the festia ST but the focus ST didn't seem as fun at legal-ish speeds.

Apples and oranges, man.  The FiST and FoST are both great, but this is the RS.  Imagine the Focus ST with 98 extra hp and 2 more driven wheels.  

I do agree with you about the FoST seeming a little cold at legal speeds.

Yep, and also is comparing it to a GTI ... Golf R is the right comparison. 

I like the Focus RS but they seemed to have dissapeared, I rarely see them anymore. 

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
8/23/21 10:30 p.m.

I want to try one of these at rallycross.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
8/24/21 12:13 p.m.

In reply to AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) :

Josh Armatrout runs one in SA, and he will be at Nationals this year.  IIRC he does rather well, but he also a dang good driver.

rattfink81
rattfink81 Reader
8/24/21 12:44 p.m.

In reply to psteav (Forum Supporter) :

Oh I know, just was rambling on about how I couldn't find one for sale when I was shopping. I love the idea of it and I'm sure it's awesome. 

EvanB
EvanB MegaDork
8/24/21 1:37 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

In reply to AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) :

Josh Armatrout runs one in SA, and he will be at Nationals this year.  IIRC he does rather well, but he also a dang good driver.

Looks like he is back in a MINI this year. 

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
8/24/21 2:57 p.m.

I want to see how well I could push one in stock AWD myself.  I make no comment on my driving skill.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
8/24/21 3:13 p.m.
EvanB said:
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

In reply to AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) :

Josh Armatrout runs one in SA, and he will be at Nationals this year.  IIRC he does rather well, but he also a dang good driver.

Looks like he is back in a MINI this year. 

If he shows up on those damn tires again, I quit laugh

pinchvalve (Forum Supporter)
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/24/21 7:58 p.m.

Had the FiST at a dealer (ugh) and saw this was just traded in. Thought I might snag a deal on it before anyone saw it, but $34k for a 2017. Oh well, still awesome though. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
8/24/21 8:05 p.m.

In reply to pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) :

That is almost down to pre-Covid going rate.  2016s were starting to dip below $30k, and I was getting poised to strike.  But I started waffling because, well, the 2018s had a Torsen front diff.  (The 2018s seem to be exponentially rarer than '16s, though)

 

Ultimately I decided that it was not wise to squeak into a car for which almost all of its oily bits are specific to that one, single, rare model, with the expectation of driving it 20-30k miles per year, meaning parts supply might be a nightmare.  I already have enough of that as it is frown Not having a $500-600/month payment makes it easier when I occasionally need to tithe to the unicorn gods.

JohnLClark
JohnLClark New Reader
8/28/21 6:44 p.m.

In reply to pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) :

I was just on Auto Tempest and it seems decent ones are still that high.  

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
8/28/21 10:30 p.m.
JohnLClark said:

In reply to pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) :

I was just on Auto Tempest and it seems decent ones are still that high.  

It's bad enough I'm staying clear of test drives.

poopshovel again
poopshovel again MegaDork
8/29/21 6:40 a.m.

Seriously my favorite car I've ever owned. Swore I wasn't going to track it, but it's so good I track it at least once a month. I need to get it to a "real" autocross, but in the meantime I've been takin home hardware once a month at AMP. I just added a Steeda adjustable rear sway bar and it's ALL_THAT.

Pissin dog at 1:40 

It does AWD and hatchy tings too! (Yes I beat my buddy in the CTR) cheeky

And yes, prices have gone nuts. Glad I bought when I did. Glad I held out for a NB 18.


 

jstein77
jstein77 UberDork
8/31/21 3:24 p.m.

In reply to poopshovel again :

Where'd you place overall in the autocross?

poopshovel again
poopshovel again MegaDork
9/1/21 10:44 a.m.

In reply to jstein77 :

I was racking up 1st place trophies till I got second to a guy I used to autocross against. Apparently he got really good in the last 15 years cheeky There are no classes. It's just run whatcha brung. Short, violent course. I'm havin fun.

I'm tuning with Randy Robles right now. I owe him some datalogs! frown But I highly recommend it. The car is straight ROWDY now.

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