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Ford has given the Focus RS some new tech

A mechanical diff and carbon bits mark out the new Focus RS Edition

The hot hatchback market has never been as rich, exciting or diverse as it is now. And with fresh input at the ballsier end of the hot hatch spectrum from Renault, Hyundai and Seat, the established pack feel the need to fight back.

So welcome the Ford Focus RS Edition, unveiled to surprisingly little fanfare at the Frankfurt Motor Show. It takes the standard, 345bhp, four-wheel drive RS and gives it some extra goodies.

The headline act is a Quaife mechanical limited-slip differential for the front axle. Not sure what that means? It helps distribute the power between the front wheels, so will limit power at a wheel that’s losing grip, helping the car corner more sharply and avoid understeer.

Front diffs are what have allowed front-wheel-drive hot hatches to enter into 300bhp territory, but the Focus RS’s rear-biased four-wheel drive means it already has a quite fun cure for understeer. So it’ll be interesting to drive it with a diff and see what the, um, diff-erence is.

There’s more to the Edition than that, though. There’s also a host of extra equipment to justify its price jump over standard: black 19in alloys, Recaro sports seats, a matt black spoiler and roof and some carbon trim inside.

And the price jump? Just over £3,500, to £35,795. Yep, it’s near-as-dammit as £36k Focus, albeit one with lots of grown up mechanicals beneath its skin.

Tempted? Or are those new hatches a more appealing proposition?

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