‘Concept’ hot hatches are usually extremely thinly veiled production cars. Manufacturers stick bigger wheels and brighter seatbelts in an otherwise road-ready hatch, stick it on the show stand, and watch online forums go into a ‘quick-darling-sell-the-dog-immediately’ meltdown. Hot hatches are supposed to be easy to justify.
With that in mind, let’s rewind to 2004. Ford has wrapped production of the Focus RS, a controversially wayward but sensationally fast and aggressive hot hatchback that reportedly made a near-£4,500 loss per car produced, due to its hand-finished build. But the RS fans are salivating. They want a new flagship. They’re eyeing the current 150bhp Fiesta ST, and wondering what it’d be like with wilder bodywork and a power output north of 190bhp. Well, this was 15 years ago.