Ford Focus RS production in Europe will cease on April 6, but before the factory machines are flicked to the off position, the company has one more treat for British fans of the souped-up hatchback. That treat is the color orange. To commemorate 50 years since the introduction of the original 1968 Ford Escort, the Heritage Edition will be limited to 50 right-hand-drive examples, offered only in the U.K. The special model comes with power and handling upgrades as well as several other customizations.
In April 2017, we had the chance to drive an upgraded Mountune Focus RS, which is offered only in Europe. Shortly after that, in May, Ford announced a special edition RS (in red or blue!) with a limited-slip front differential would represent the 2018 model signoff car for North America (1000 for the U.S. and 500 for Canada). Now, the company is meshing the two. The 50 Heritage Edition cars come equipped the FPM375 Mountune performance pack and a Quaife front mechanical limited-slip differential.
The Mountune package (an option that’s typically priced at the equivalent of $1400, including tax) upgrades the RS to 370 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque, 25 horses and 29 lb-ft more than the ratings on the stock U.K.-market RS. The power boost comes courtesy of a performance air filter, upgraded ducts and hoses, a better air recirculation valve, and an ECU tune. According to C/D European editor Mike Duff, the package increases throttle snappiness, offers better midrange power, and creates a heartier growl.
For extra visual exterior flair, the Heritage Editions come with Deep Orange paint, black forged-aluminum wheels, gray brake calipers, black door mirrors, and a black spoiler. Inside, Ford gave the RS partial leather Recaro seats and carbon-fiber trim. Other amenities include privacy glass, a sunroof, rear parking sensors, power-fold door mirrors, cruise control with a speed limiter, and a heated steering wheel.
These limited-edition Focus RS models are nearly guaranteed to become collector’s items, which makes the increase in cost look bearable. Ford U.K. lists the stock Focus RS at just short of $46,000, including registration fees and taxes (the sticker on the 2018 U.S. model starts at $41,995). The Heritage Edition is priced at about $56,000 based on current conversion rates. Ford plans to replace the Focus with an all-new model next year, but the future of the high-performance RS variant is not certain.