Ford Focus RS MK1 (2003)

Additional information

by Isaac

Sold for: 25.900

One of 4.501

Engine

ZETEC Turbo – 1989 cc – 4 cylinders turbo charged

Power

215 hp

Transmission

Manual, 5 speed

Location

Cantabria

Kilometres

52.500 km

Seller

Private

Owners until now

Two owners, current and one previous

Body Style

Hatchback

The Story

In the year 2000, during the celebration of the Birmingham Motor Show, Ford showed the final version of the expected Focus RS , after some years of generating excitement with the presentation of two previous prototypes, as can be read in this fantastic article by Pistonudos about the first RS version of the Ford Focus.

Finally, the Focus RS was manufactured and marketed from 2002 to 2004 in a limited – and numbered – edition of 4.501 units, all in the same Imperial Blue color and available only on the European market.

Despite sharing the name and numerous components with the Focus range, the RS version was not simply an update of the then sold model, with a more powerful engine, new rims and sports seats. 70% of the parts of a Focus RS, were completely new, redesigned or updated.

Wider front and rear tracks (20 mm and 27 mm respectively), firmer shock absorber, shorter springs, completely new geometry of the suspension. As we start analyzing the car, we find that the turbo was signed by Garret, the self-locking front differential by Quaife, brakes by Brembo, AP Racing clutch, Sparco seats, OZ wheels. Ford was going all out and was betting on the best parts of the best specialized manufacturers of the time, to get a really special model.

During its production, and although the Focus RS was not the most powerful among its competitors, it became the most effective, sporty and fun to drive (although demanding) hatchback of all those that were on sale.

The Ford Focus RS unit that we present today for sale at DeliCARtessen, and of which the photographer Josetxo López (@_jstphotography_ on instagram) has done a wonderful photo shoot, was delivered at the Ford Königer dealership in Vienna (Austria) to its first owner.

The car came from the factory with the only possible interior and exterior color combination, since it was a limited and numbered unit that did not allow the choice of colors and / or optional equipment. It equipped the 2.0-liter displacement ZETEC engine, with a Garret turbocharger delivering 215 hp combined with the MTX-75 5-speed manual gearbox.

This unit was given the number 0825, out of a total of 4.501 units sold throughout Europe.

The car left the factory with the following list of equipment:

  • ABS
  • Frontal and side front airbags
  • Self-locking front differential
  • Power steering
  • Front fog lights
  • Headlight height adjustment
  • In height and depth adjustable steering wheel
  • Air conditioner
  • Manually adjustable height of the driver’s seat
  • Sparco baquet sports seats, with Alcantara leather finish in black / blue
  • Central locking mechanism
  • Electric front windows
  • Remote control for opening and closing
  • Electric exterior rearview mirrors
  • Central console in carbon fiber
  • Sparco aluminum pedals
  • Metallic paint
  • Rear spoiler
  • Leather steering wheel in two colors black / blue
  • Folding rear seats
  • Radio with 6 CDs front loader
  • OZ alloy wheels in 8 × 18 inches
  • Standard size spare wheel
  • Alarm and anti-theft immobilizer
HISTORY OF OWNERS AND MAINTENANCE

The car was produced during 2002, and acquired by its first owner in Vienna, in January 2003, who owned it for 14 years and 6 months.

EThroughout this period the car was completely and fully maintained by an official Ford dealer, according to the maintenance book and the enormous amount of invoices and information provided by its owner. During its first two years of its life, its maintenance was carried out at the official Ford Königer dealership in Vienna and then until 2017 at the official Ford Berger KFZ dealership in Vienna.

We detail below, many of its maintenance records in chronological order:

  • In October 2004, a maintenance job is carried out. At that time, it marks 7.895 km.
  • In May 2006 a complete review was performed, including brake fluid change with 15.080 km
  • In April 2009, a complete revision was made when it had 25.245 km.
  • In April 2010, a complete overhaul was performed, including brake fluid change with 27.456 km.
  • In March 2011, a complete revision is made. At that time, the car had 28.503 km on the clock.
  • In April 2012, a complete overhaul is carried out, when the car marks 30.678 km.
  • In January 2013, a complete review was carried out, including change of distribution belts and coolant when it had 31.533 km.
  • In January 2014, a complete review was performed, including brake fluid change with 34.450 km.
  • In April 2015, a complete revision is done, when the car marks 38.273 km.
  • In December 2016, with 46.507 km on the clock, a complete revision is made.
  • In 2004 and 2006, checks were carried out on the car’s corrosion protection. The car had 7.895 and 15.080 km on the clock respectively.
  • From the year 2009 to the year 2016, they carry out yearly checks of the car’s corrosion protection.

In the summer of 2017, the car is acquired by its second and current owner, who orders it being imported into Spain and owns it until today.

From that moment, the car continues to receive all its complete maintenance jobs at an official Ford dealership, in this case at the Copemóvil dealership in Cantabria, Spain.

Again, we detail below, its Spanish maintenance records in chronological order:

  • In June 2017, the first ITV review was carried out in Spain, marking 49.000 km at that time.
  • In January 2018, with 50.540 km, a complete revision is made.
  • In June 2018, the ITV periodic inspection was carried out, where they recorded 51.467 km.
  • In September 2018, with 51.768 km, a change of the intake manifold was made.
  • In January 2019, with 52.450 km, a complete revision is made.
MECHANICAL STATUS

From a mechanical point of view, the car is completely up-to-date, without any pending operations, or any imperfections.

The car equips Michelin Pilot Sport tires in 225/40 R18 88Y both on the front axle and on the rear axle. All four tires are dated from2010, but they are still in a very good condition, still having a long life ahead, which is a good indication of the car’s undemanding treatment. In the photo gallery, pictures of all the tires are attached, where you can see their uniform wear.

We do not have documentary evidence of changes of brake pads and / or brake discs. Its owner tells us that in the last review at the official Ford dealership (January 2019), they indicated that they are still good, having still use left.

STATE OF BODYWORK, PAINT AND INTERIOR

The state of sheet metal and paint of the car is IMPECCABLE. This is even more remarkable taking into account that the car is already 16 years old. It does not show any hits or scratches on any panel, and the painting is seen in perfect condition, with a lot of shine and without marks of any kind according to the magnificent photos made by Josetxo López (@_jstphotography_ on instagram).

The car remains strictly standard, without any modification to the body or the inside. It does not seem to have been painted on any occasion, although documentary certainty is not available.

The interior is also in perfect condition, appreciating the low mileage of the car both in the wear of the seats, interior plastics or steering wheel, pieces that are in an almost impeccable condition.

IMPROVEMENT POINTS

As only negative points, we must indicate that two rims have some very light parking friction. Both very minor details seeing the overall state of the vehicle, which is in a SPECTACULAR general condition.

LEGAL STATUS

From the legal point of view, and as can be seen in the report extracted from the DGT that would be delivered to the buyer, the vehicle is perfectly legal for circulation. It does not show any issues, and the mileage readings carried out in the different ITV perfectly match with the history provided by its owner.

OUR OPINION

The Ford Focus RS of the first generation is a very special model for different reasons:

The first of these reasons is that it is one of the pioneers in incorporating a mechanical self-locking differential in a front-wheel drive car. Nowadays, this trend has become popular and it is quite usual to find more current examples.

It had a racing version, the Ford Focus RS WRC, which won numerous successes in the World Rally Championship with Collin McRae, Petter Solberg and Carlos Sainz at its controls.

Despite having some reputation for unreliability, in fact the engine that powers the Focus RS is a very reliable engine, which, correctly maintained and without modifications, guarantees hundreds of thousands of kilometers of mechanical reliability. The problem is that since it is an easily tuned engine, many units have been modified, and therefore, their reliability has diminished.

And last, but not least, it is a production model limited in number, to a total of 4.501 units throughout the whole of Europe. This number becomes more important considering that Ford sold 2.147 units in the United Kingdom with the steering wheel located on the right. This leaves the final number of only about 2.300 units with the steering wheel on the left.

But for a special model such as this one, to be considered an appropriate “collection” car, it must have a perfectly traceable history over time, in addition to an impeccable maintenance, and if possible, a small number of previous owners.

The Focus RS presents itself today, – and as long as the requirements mentioned above are met -, as a model with a very high revaluation potential.

For all these reasons we find the unit that we present here today for sale, very interesting. The most remarkable aspect is the very low mileage it has, but also, it is absolutely standard, with its maintenance history perfectly clear and in a magnificent mechanical state.

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