AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Mikko Hirvonen has done an admirable job in WRC. Despite never winning a championship, Hirvonen has stepped into the shoes of legendary driver Marcus Gronholm as Ford’s new factory driver, regularly battling the reigning champion, Sebastian Loeb.
When Hirvonen isn’t flinging the Ford Focus WRC car through various rally stages, he can be found driving the new Focus RS500 special edition on the Nurburgring, as shown in these two Ford promotional videos. The first clip shows Hirvonen driving the RS500 at a relaxed pace through some German B-roads, and giving his driving impressions of the car. The second clip shows the car being driven by Hirvonen on the Nurburgring.
Both videos show off the car’s incredible 5-cylinder soundtrack, and the RS500 looks especially mean in its all black livery. We really wish there was some way to help us understand how the car handles, because 350-horsepower through the front wheels is likely something that must be experienced rather than explained.
[Source: Ford of Europe]
The Ford Focus RS500 debut has been a little interesting, to say the least. Ford had built a new website, teasing the release of the car over several days. They claim however that the website was “hacked” and the official (and enticing) photos of the Ford Focus RS500 were released 48 hours early. Perhaps it was a truly intentional (and brilliant) marketing ploy, but word spread quickly and now it appears the Ford Focus RS500 is already sold out – with a limited run of 500 units – before official pricing has even been announced.
While the Focus wasn’t exactly a hot car on the Stateside, its appeal over in Europe is extraordinary. Claims of the Focus RS selling as a used vehicle for more than its purchase price isn’t unheard of. And with the rarity of the RS500 and its menacing good looks, it’s no surprise that the RS500 already has such great appeal within the UK market, nevermind the rest of Europe. The RS500 also marks the end of the current-gen Ford Focus RS production; so there’s a little bit of a nostalgic factor there.
For those that didn’t keep up with all the “web-hacking” and premature debut of the Focus RS500, the limited-edition vehicle sports 345-hp and 339 ft-lbs of torque, an increase of 45-hp and 14 ft-lbs from a mundane RS. The Matte Black style highlights the exterior with race-inspired red accents on the brake calipers and throughout the interior. And much like Acura’s Integra Type-R, each RS500 sports a numbered plaque on the center console.
[Source: Autocar UK]