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The last Ford Focus RS is the very orange 'Heritage Edition'

Drift Mode superhatch heads into the sunset by dressing up as… a sunset

Fast Ford fans, we have a sombre date for your diary. On Friday 6 April 2018, the final MkIII Ford Focus RS will burble its way off the Saarlouis factory production line in Germany, and the Drift Mode-equipped hot hatchback’s time will be done. RIP.

It, like the 49 Focus RSs built before it, will all assume a special identity: Ford Focus RS Heritage Edition. Yes, the final 50 RSs will be daubed in the subtle, retiring shade of ‘Deep Orange’. You know when you’ve been Tangoed. 

If you’re not sold on the hue – inspired by the classic Ford Escort Mexico no less, as 2018 marks half a century since the Escort arrived in the UK – then the RS Heritage Edition’s spec might sway you. 

Basically, it’s got all the toys. 

First off, the 2.3-litre turbocharged EcoBoost engine has been, well, boosted. Thanks to a high-flow induction kit and new turbo calibration from Ford’s in-house tuners Mountune, power is up from 345bhp to 372bhp. Torque’s soared from the standard RS’s 347lb ft to 376lb ft, meanwhile. Ford’s also added carbon trim and painted the rear wing black. How stealthy. 

That’s not all. Since we first met the Focus RS, Ford’s engineers have been working on improvements in the face of fresher hot hatch titans like the Honda Civic Type R and new Renaultsport Megane. One of their innovations was a Quaife limited-slip front differential, which crept into the options list last year. Guess what? That’s fitted as standard here too. 

In fact, the only Focus RS toy not lobbed into the Heritage Edition is the Ken Block-approved hydraulic handbrake ‘drift bar’. Possibly because this is a future classic and it’d be a shame if all 50 were resident in roundabout flowerbeds by Christmas. 

And if you’re considering making a canny future investment, then be prepared to pay a premium. A standard Focus RS is £32,675. The RS Heritage Edition is £7,220 pricier, at £39,895, which could instead score you a generously-specced VW Golf R, or a Honda Civic Type R plus change for tyres, fuel and a month’s worth of Nürburgring day passes. 

Then again, neither of those are available in orange.

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