Spied in the clas­si­fieds

Autocar - - THIS WEEK -

Tempted by a Ford Fo­cus RS

Ford Fo­cus RS Mk2s for rea­son­able money are be­com­ing rare. The ex­am­ple fea­tured here is a 2009-reg with 73,000 miles. It’s got the Lux Pack 2 up­grade so has a sat-nav and re­vers­ing cam­era, on top of the Lux Pack 1’s dig­i­tal ra­dio and cli­mate con­trol.

That’s the kit but it’s the per­for­mance you buy th­ese things for and the Mk2 has stacks. The 2.5-litre five-cylin­der turbo mo­tor pro­duces 300bhp and 324lb ft, dis­patched to the front wheels via a Quaife lim­it­ed­slip diff. With the ad­di­tional help of a Re­voknuckle front sus­pen­sion set-up and ESP, the Mk2 RS just about keeps torque steer in check, leav­ing you free to en­joy ar­riv­ing at 60mph from a stand­ing start in 5.9sec.

The seller says our ex­am­ple has a full ser­vice his­tory. It would be nice to see some top spe­cial­ist stamps in the book as the mileage climbs, as well as Ford main dealer ones ear­lier in the car’s life. Scru­ti­nise work­shop bills for ev­i­dence that they’ve used Cas­trol Longtec 0W-40 fully syn­thetic.

It has just had a belt change, and a new clutch and fly­wheel – to be ex­pected at this mileage. Lis­ten for drive­shaft rum­blings and, with the en­gine run­ning, re­move the dip­stick, lis­ten­ing for air es­cap­ing from the crank­case – a bad sign. Check the pre­vi­ous owner hasn’t skimped on the tyres. Con­ti­nen­tal Sport­con­tacts are the rub­ber of choice.

Prices of its suc­ces­sor, the Mk3, are fall­ing by the day, with 2016/66-reg cars with about 30,000 miles start­ing at £23,500. That’s just £5550 more than our nine-year-old Mk2. Makes you think… Purists rate the Mk2’s greater in­volve­ment and bet­ter three­door looks. Hold on to that thought as you’re tap­ping in your PIN num­ber.

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