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The result

  • Price from: 35,650
  • On sale: Sold out
  • 345bhp; 0-62mph 5.6seconds
Words By What Car? Staff

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Ford's new mega hatch has more power than a standard Porsche 911, so you won't be surprised to hear that it's quick. Devastatingly quick. Acceleration is noticeably more ballistic than in the standard RS, with the official 0-62mph time dropping by three tenths to just 5.6 seconds.

Top speed? That's up 2mph to 165mph enough to give you bragging rights over owners of far pricier performance cars, such as the Lotus Evora.

Despite the extra power the RS500 remains remarkably unflustered when pushed hard, even though the suspension, chassis and brakes are identical to the standard Focus RS.

The extra grunt is found higher up in the rev range, but that hasn't upset driveability at low speeds, and the RS500 laughs in the face of anyone who says performance cars should be driven through the rear wheels.

The front tyres slingshot the RS500 out of slow corners with astonishing speed and composure, helped hugely by Ford's clever limited-slip differential and clever 'RevoKnuckle' suspension system, carried over from the standard RS.

The steering delivers the same phenomenal feedback as the standard RS's. You never have to guess how much front-end grip is available, so even the average driver can push the RS500 close to its limits without saying their prayers first.

Oh, and there's the noise. The standard RS sounded pretty meaty, but the RS500 is even more raucous, and its twin exhausts spit and bang like a rally car when you back off the accelerator.

That said, it's really rather civilised when driven sedately, so you won't upset the neighbours every time you leave early in the morning for work. Unless you want to, of course.