Europe's Ford Focus RS500
30th March, 2010
- Powerful new limited-edition Ford Focus RS500 for performance car enthusiasts
- Strictly limited run of 500 vehicles marks the end of current Focus RS production
- Tuned 350 PS, 2.5 litre 5 cylinder engine with 460 Nm of torque provides 'muscular' performance
- Technical enhancements improve engine's breathing and combustion
- Upgraded powertrain teamed with class-leading chassis to deliver the definitive Focus RS driving experience
- Maximum visual impact with unique matt black 'foil' paint finish and matching 19 inch alloy wheels
- Premium specification for all vehicles, combining enhanced standard luxury equipment and special RS500 detailing
- Production run of 500 individually-numbered cars available for customer order across 20 European markets from May
- Global debut at the Leipzig Motor Show on 9th April, 2010
A new and powerful limited edition Ford Focus RS model, called the RS500, is being launched as the ultimate performance
Ford and will provide the definitive driving experience for serious European performance car enthusiasts.
Making its global debut at the 2010 Leipzig Motor Show in Germany on 9th April, the new model has been given the RS500
designation to highlight its strictly-limited production run of 500 individually-numbered vehicles, all of which will be
offered for customers to purchase.
The new Ford Focus RS500 features a 'muscular' 350 PS 2.5 litre 5 cylinder engine, which generates 15 per cent more
power than the standard Focus RS and delivers exhilarating performance.
The RS500’s breathtaking power is matched by an equally dramatic appearance. The limited edition model sports a unique
matt black 'foil' paint finish with matching alloy wheels to deliver a powerful visual impact which is unlike any other
“We were determined to mark the end of production for the current and acclaimed Focus RS with something even more
special,” said Joe Bakaj, Ford of Europe's vice president for Product Development. “From its stunning looks to its
intoxicating performance, we have no doubt that the RS500 will be appreciated and quickly snapped up by performance car
“This vehicle joins a long line of iconic RS Fords and is a worthy recipient of the RS500 name, which became
synonymous with success on the road and track with the legendary Sierra RS500 Cosworth that dominated saloon car racing
during the late 1980s,” Bakaj added.
Strictly limited production run of 500 individually numbered vehicles
The RS500 marks the end of production for the current generation Focus RS, with the last vehicles scheduled to leave
Ford’s Saarlouis Assembly Plant in Germany during September 2010.
While overwhelming customer demand has ensured that total Focus RS output is expected to exceed 11,000 units
(significantly more than the 7,000 to 8,000 originally forecast), production of the RS500 will start at Ford's Saarlouis
plant in Germany during May and will be strictly limited to 500 customer vehicles for twenty European markets.
Each RS500 will carry a metal plaque on the centre console, hand-engraved with a unique identification number from 001
A small number of pre-production vehicles produced for internal Ford use – such as product development or media
demonstrators – will have their own unique numbering scheme, to ensure the exclusivity of the 500 customer cars.
Demand for the RS500 is expected to exceed supply by a considerable margin, and the full production run of just 500
vehicles is being allocated across 20 European markets in line with the anticipated level of interest. For some countries,
the very small number of vehicles allocated means the RS500 will, indeed, be a very exclusive purchase for its customers.
Upgraded 350 PS powertrain
“The more urgent engine sound and sheer thrust of the mid-range performance tell the driver immediately that this is
not a standard Focus RS,” said Gunnar Herrmann, Ford’s global C-car vehicle line director.
To provide the RS500 with a fitting power unit, the 305 PS turbocharged Duratec RS 2.5 litre engine from the standard
Focus RS has been upgraded to deliver significantly more top-end and mid-range power, but without compromising the base
engine’s strength and responsiveness at lower revs.
Peak power is increased by 45 PS to 350 PS at 6,000 rpm, while torque has been increased from 440 to 460 Nm, delivered
across a broad speed range from 2,500 to 4,500 rpm.
To achieve the required balance of muscular mid-range and top-end performance, the engine has benefitted from a
comprehensive package of enhancements aimed at improving the engine’s breathing and combustion.
The changes include a significantly larger air-to-air intercooler to deliver a cooler, denser charge; a larger air
filter box for increased airflow; larger diameter exhaust downpipe; and an uprated fuel pump, along with an updated
software calibration to optimise the performance of the revised engine.
“The engine’s improved breathing has allowed us to increase power without having to raise turbo boost pressure
significantly,” explained Herrmann. “This has made it possible to enhance peak performance while maintaining the
excellent driveability, fuel consumption and emissions of the standard Focus RS.”
Preliminary performance figures for the Focus RS500 indicate that it achieves 0-100 km/h in 5.6 seconds, with a top
speed similar to the 263 km/h in the standard RS.
Engineered by performance car enthusiasts
The Focus RS500 engine has been modified by a team enthusiast engineers from Ford TeamRS in partnership with Revolve
Technologies, the automotive engineering firm which develops Ford approved performance upgrades through its Mountune
The shared development and testing programme ensured that the 350 PS Duratec RS engine achieved the specified
performance targets while also delivering the standards of durability and serviceability expected by Ford RS
The comprehensive engineering details already developed for the 305 PS Focus RS engine – including a revised cylinder
head gasket, ultra-durable metal sprayed cylinder bores, revised pistons and new connecting rods – have ensured that no
further mechanical changes were required to cope with the increased performance of the 350 PS RS500 unit.
Advanced front wheel drive chassis
A key factor in the success of the latest generation Focus RS has been its advanced front wheel drive chassis, which
combines a wider track, the unique ‘RevoKnuckle’ front suspension design and a Quaife helical limited slip differential
to deliver responsive steering, outstanding traction and a minimum of unwanted torque steer.
The same chassis design has proved equally effective in handling the increased torque levels of the Focus RS500, and
the specification is unchanged for this application, helping to retain the same sporting and responsive dynamic
character which is central to the appeal of the acclaimed standard Focus RS.
The high-performance braking system, and the 19 inch wheels and 235/35/R19 tyres, are also carried over unchanged
from the standard vehicle, although red brake callipers and a dramatic black finish for the alloy wheels are unique to
Performance Tested to the Limit
In recognition of the extreme performance potential of the Focus RS500, the limited edition model has been subjected
to a series of concentrated durability tests which have focused on the car’s track capabilities.
The development programme included a dedicated endurance test at the infamous Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany,
where Ford TeamRS engineers were joined by three Ford-employed racing drivers working in shifts to complete 10,000 km
of non-stop driving, equivalent to competing in ten consecutive Nürburgring 24-hour races without a break.
“We wanted to be sure that serious enthusiasts could drive the Focus RS500 to the limit on track, without any
concerns about the car’s stamina,” said Matthias Tonn, Focus RS500 chief programme engineer. “This meant going
beyond our standard test routines, and pushing the car to the edge of its performance envelope.”
“After 500 non-stop laps of the Nürburgring, we are very confident of its durability and delighted at the way it
performed, with an 8-minute lap time within reach.”
Unique matt black 'foil' paint finish for maximum visual impact
The standard Focus RS already provides a lasting impression with its functional yet striking design, but the unique
matt black 'foil' paint finish of the Focus RS500 makes this limited edition car even more special.
Stunning matt black bodywork is combined with matching metallic black alloy wheels, and the gloss black finish of
the trapezoidal lower front grille and splitter, twin-blade rear spoiler and the rear venturi, which manages airflow
beneath the rear of the car.
Small flashes of colour around the vehicle – including the red brake callipers, blue RS badges, and the special blue
and red RS500 badge on the tailgate – only serve to emphasise the car’s unique appearance.
“We deliberately set out to ensure that the Focus RS500 looks like no other production vehicle,” added Tonn.
“With its dramatic black finish and imposing stance, this car really is mean, moody and magnificent!”
The matt black foil finish for the Focus RS500 was developed in partnership with the technology company 3M, which
specialises in advanced film products for the automotive industry.
All Focus RS500 vehicles will be painted in a standard Panther Black metallic colour, before being shipped to a
dedicated 3M facility near Frankfurt, Germany, where a special foil film will be applied to the bodywork to provide
the matt black effect.
The film is extremely durable, and is specifically designed to resist superficial marks and scratches in automotive
applications. In the event of damage to the bodywork, Ford dealers will be fully supported by a Europe-wide network of
3M agents who can replace the film on the affected panels.
Special Focus RS500 interior detailing
Attention to detail on the RS500 exterior is also reflected inside the car, with a series of special features which
are unique to this limited edition model.
The centre console is distinguished by the car's individually-numbered metal plaque, and by a unique carbon-effect
finish to the bezel which carries a distinctive RS pattern.
In contrast to the blue detailing on the standard Focus RS, the RS500 features a special red colour scheme, notably
on the stitching of the leather trim on the steering wheel, door trim and gear lever gaiter, and on the floor mats.
Customers also have the option of specifying the bespoke Recaro front sports seats in full red leather, to further
enhance the visual impact.
All Focus RS500 vehicles will be equipped to a very high specification as standard, with only two features available
as optional items. In addition to the comprehensive equipment levels on the standard Focus RS, the RS500 includes the
following features as standard:
- Dual-zone automatic climate control
- Heated windscreen
- Rear parking distance sensors
- Tyre deflation detection system
- Automatic headlights and rain-sensing wipers
- Auto dimming rear-view mirror
- Ford key-free start
- Enhanced connectivity with Bluetooth®, voice control and USB port
- Sony 6-CD audio system
- Recaro sports front seats with partial leather trim
The two optional features are touchscreen DVD navigation and audio system, and the full leather Recaro front seats
“We believe that customers lucky enough to secure one of the limited edition Focus RS500 models will be getting
a real collectors item,” said Joe Bakaj. “From its stunning looks, to its immense driver appeal and its complete
specification, the Focus RS500 provides enthusiasts with the ultimate performance Ford for the road.”
Ford Focus RS500 - Technical Specifications
0-100 km/h 5.6sec (0-60 mph 5.4sec, 0-100 mph 12.2sec)
Maximum speed 265 km/h (165 mph)
Maximum power 350 PS at 6,000 rpm
Maximum torque 460 Nm at 2,500 to 4,500 rpm
All other technical specifications match those of the Ford Focus RS.