1. Ford Focus RS

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Jim Holder
23 Jul 2008 14:38 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 00:03

Okay, so it's hardly a practical family runabout, and most of us won't be rushing to a dealership to buy one - but we'll all be wishing we could.

Even the merest glimpse at the lurid green bodywork confirms that the RS is a brash beast, and the performance figures whet the appetite even further. In a show that lacked pizzazz, the RS was a beacon of excitement.

The front-wheel-drive machine is powered by a turbocharged 296bhp 2.5-litre engine with 302lb ft of pulling power.

Exact performance figures haven't been released, but Ford says it will blast from 0-62mph in under six seconds.

The car is also wider than a standard Focus, and has stiffer springs and shock absorbers to improve stability and handling.

The steering is sharper, too, and the traction control system has been refined to allow more spirited driving. The brakes have been uprated as well.

Styling changes from the standard Focus include new front and rear panels to incorporate wider wheelarches, and air vents behind the front wheels and in the bonnet.

The front and rear bumpers are also different, while twin chrome exhausts and a rear wing emphasise the car's sporting intentions.

Inside, the RS has sports seats that are colour-matched to the car's exterior paint. The centre console is finished in carbon-look trim, while the air vents, door handles, switchgear and gearshift surround get a metallic finish.

Some final words of caution: the model on display at the show isn't ready for production, and there are expected to be some final tweaks made before the design is finalised.

However, as long as public reaction is positive, that green paintwork will be available as an option.

No details on the Focus RS's pricing will be announced until next year, but it is expected to cost around 25,000 when it goes on sale in the late spring.