* Stunning in almost every aspect * 300bhp 2.5-litre engine * Claimed average economy of 30.5mpg...
Whether pulling out from the very bottom of the rev range or piling them on at the top, the power delivery is pretty devastating, especially when you consider that the engine was originally designed to tug around heavy old Volvo estates.
To fit the brief of a radical hot-hatch, however, some serious re-engineering was required. The addition of a dustbin-sized turbocharger, radical camshaft profiles and a free-flowing cylinder head were just some of the modifications undertaken to care get more fuel-air mixture in and out, and help the engine rev long and hard.
If you're curious to know just how much of the magic oxy-petro mix it takes to generate 300bhp, you only need listen to the RS at full chat. With so much induction roar coming from under the bonnet, you fear for stray dogs or the odd errant schoolboy that strays too close to the vortex that lurks behind the RS's slanted air intakes.
The RS has one additional aural party trick, but it's your public, not you, who will be the main beneficiaries.