At the heart of the RS500 is an upgraded version of the standard RSs 2.5-litre turbocharged engine. Among the many revisions for the new model are a larger intercooler, an uprated fuel pump and revised engine management software, all of which combine to give it 345bhp, 45bhp up on the regular RS.
The result is that the RS500 will blast from 60mph in 5.4 seconds half a second quicker than the standard RS. Its top speed is 165mph, 6mph more than the standard version, but it matches the existing cars economy and emissions figures.
Ford says that, while the revised engine has much more power at the top end and in the mid-range, it is still every bit as strong and responsive at low revs. The company also says that it is equally as durable as the standard RS engine proved by a development programme that included 500 non-stop laps of the Nurburgring racing circuit in Germany.
More photos of the Ford Focus RS500
Ford Focus RS500 1: click to enlarge
Ford Focus RS500 2: click to enlarge
Ford Focus RS500 3: click to enlarge
Ford Focus RS500 4: click to enlarge
Ford Focus RS500 5: click to enlarge
Ford Focus RS500 6: click to enlarge'We wanted to be sure that serious enthusiasts could drive the Focus RS500 to the limit on track, without any concerns about the cars stamina', said Matthias Tonn, the chief programme engineer. 'This meant going beyond our standard test routines, and pushing the car to the edge of its performance envelope.'