Well, high mileage for one of the best-loved hot hatches of the 21st century…
By John Howell / Monday, November 29, 2021 / Loading comments
In this current Britain of rising inflation and lack of stock, here’s a break from the norm and a proper little treat, just in time for Christmas. How about something that’s in stock and about £10,000 under the typical asking price? Hopefully that’s got your attention; now behold, the Ford Focus RS Mk2. It’s not uncommon for Ford RS products to make a few waves, but they came crashing to shore in quick succession when, in 2009, Ford decided to cram a heavily modified set of five cylinders from Volvo under the Focus Mk2’s relatively short bonnet. It was a revelation, and still is, hence prices average around £30,000 but commonly stretch well past that for low-mileage examples.
Technically, of course, this is a low-mileage example because it’s nearly 12-years old and covered 105,000 miles, which equates to 8,750-miles per year. That’s not in the spirit of the rules governing low-milers, though, and it’s reflected in the £20,000 price tag. But honestly, looking at the photographs, could you tell it’s gone ’round the clock’? One thing you cannot say about the advert is it doesn’t have enough pictures because there are 63 of them, most of which map the outside. I’ve been studying them very closely and I can’t see any defects in the stunning Performance Blue paint. Can you?
It’s the same inside, too. At this mileage, I really and reasonably expected to see some signs of wear and tear. The driver’s seat bolster is a usual tell-tale of use but again, I cannot see anything to give the game away. Those Recaro seats look pretty much as new and as figure-hugging as ever. As does the hide wrapping the steering wheel and gear lever. And when you throw in a full service history, which apparently this example comes with, it does make you wonder whether this is the possibly the steal of the year.
It’s not even like the Mk2 RS is a car to fear when it comes to problems. The internet seems to think its weaknesses are few and far between. Lower wishbone bushes start to clonk when worn, but that’s the same with any Focus from any era, and you probably want to check the clutch thoroughly. Much of the talk online covers splitting the transmission from the engine, which is said to be a five-hour job, and, depending on what parts you use and what you’re paying for the labour to fit them, you’re looking around £750 – or £1400 if it needs a flywheel as well.
The camshaft oil seal has a tendency to fail. It’s hidden, of course, so the only sure way to check it is by removing the cambelt cover, which isn’t really a job to do on the forecourt. Still, be conscious of any oil leaks from around that area and, ideally, stick a belt replacement on the list of pressing things to do – the slated interval for the cambelt is 125,000 miles or 10 years, but that’ll be reduced somewhat if it’s being sprayed with Castrol. The rest of the package seems resolute, with the gearbox and Quaife LSD seemingly durable enough to take higher outputs than this car’s standard-spec 300hp and 324 lb ft.
Back in the day, Jeremy Clarkson ended his Focus RS review with something along the lines of ‘it’s the most amount of fun with the most amount of practicality for the least amount of money.’ At this price, that sentiment finally rings true over a decade on from the RS’s launch – and with six figures already showing on the odometer, you wouldn’t be obliged to treat the car like a treasured possession from day one. It would be all about the fun. Imagine that.
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