Worried driving an RS will harm its value? This one suggests otherwise
By Matt Bird / Monday, August 23, 2021 / Loading comments
An RS Ford being worth more than expected – or at least for sale at more than expected – is hardly a new phenomenon. Indeed, it’s being going on long enough now that cars are being bought with the sole intention of being locked away to preserve their value. On PH right now there are a pair of Heritage Focus RS Mk3s, the orange cars that came right at the end of the production run. They were always going to be desirable to collectors but, even so, to see two cars cover 58 miles between them in three years and be offered at £80,000 each is little short of astonishing.
It’s especially galling to enthusiasts because all the RS Focuses have been fantastic fun. Whether with four- or five cylinders, front- or four-wheel drive, there isn’t much on four wheels (or three) that can compete with going fast in a Focus RS. They beg to be driven hard and reward commensurately. They certainly weren’t designed to stand still – and a layman would struggle to understand why you’re coveting one unused in a garage.
So let this particular Focus RS, then, be an example to all. Because it’s covered 117,000 miles since 2010, looks fit for many more (on the outside, at least) and has had just one MOT fail since its first test 90,000 miles ago, for a broken indicator of all things. Yet it’s for sale at a plump £24,490. Obviously that’s no guarantee of what it’ll sell for, but it serves as some indicator of demand. Which means that the Focus RS is desirable whether it has 20,000 miles or almost 120,000.
As well it should, because the Mk2 was a brilliant hot hatch. It blazed the trail for a lot of today’s contenders, proving both that front-wheel drive could handle more than 300hp and that a slightly porky kerbweight need not be an inhibitor to fun. It was a well-appointed, fast and refined hatchback, but also one that could entertain like few others.
Naming a car colour after BP Ultimate fuel (Ford’s WRC sponsor at the time) seemed a risky move, but the bright green became synonymous with the RS and remains popular. From what can be seen from the photos – there isn’t a great deal of info in the advert – it still presents well enough, as does the whole exterior.
That said, not having to keep it pristine would surely be one of the joys of high-mileage Focus RS ownership. Of course it should be cared for, but how liberating it would be not to have to worry about the impact – both literal and financial – of each stone chip and concentrate on properly enjoying a fast Ford.
Questions of value at the moment seem tricky to answer given the odd state of the used market. It’s probably worth noting that Mk2s are available for less than this, but not by much. This RS is £21,500 with 96,000 miles but a blank advert, and this one – another white car- is £22k with 85,000 but comes with a long list of modifications over standard. The next cheapest is the Ultimate Green example. And it is possible to pay £50k for a Mk2 RS, just FYI…
So, anyone after a Focus RS will have to be prepared to pay for it, but that’s pretty much always been the case for those that didn’t get a new one. There can’t be many other 10-year-old cars out there with six-figure mileages for sale at little less than their original RRP, and certainly no hot hatches. But that’s the fast Ford effect. Judging by this example, it seems you’ve nothing to lose by getting out an enjoying the Focus RS as much as possible. As if an excuse was required.
See the original advert here.
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