When Ford first fixed an RS badge to the back of a Focus, I was too young to drive, but I remember the furore. And with my parents’ Focus 1.6 Zetec out on the driveway, I felt sorry for its tricked-up 212bhp relation. I yearned for that halo car to be a blinder.
The RS was as divisive as the Honda Civic Type R is now - ironically a car built on identical ingredients. Putting 212bhp through the front wheels in 2002 seemed very irresponsible, in a time when the Imprezas and Evos were deploying 4x4. AWD was, after all, what WRC-touting Ford had promised. Instead, we got a Torsen mechanical diff, and infamous torque steer.