Ford’s ultimate hot hatch deserves maximum… RSpect!

a.s. Zondag BBC2 om 21:00 uur de eerste aflevering met een geheel vernieuwde en nu al veel besproken crew is Top Gear terug op TV, hieronder alvast een indruk van 1 van de leden van het TG Team n.l. Chris Evans die een review plaatste in de Dailymail. Om alvast een beetje te wennen…

We zijn benieuwd!

Sensational in a straight line, stunning in the corners and with the looks of Darth Vader, Ford’s ultimate hot hatch deserves maximum… RSpect!

I was reading about President Obama’s ‘cool retirement plans’ this week, which included this link to a video he’d made in which he confronts the post-presidential dilemma of ‘what next?’

If you haven’t seen it (Watch President Obama), you must – it’s very, very funny, properly hilarious.

Top-Gears-Chris-Evans-review-2016-Focus-RS

Styling-wise, is there a more Darth Vader-helmeted vehicle on the market today? Check out the Ford Focus RS’s whole front grille ensemble.

My Top Gear experience has given me a long overdue and welcome wake-up call with regards to career mortality.

I think we can all agree that some people in my business would currently prefer me/my career/preferably both to be shot on sight rather than apprehended and taken in for further questioning.

It’s clear, even to a deaf, dumb and blind man, that in their considered opinion I thoroughly deserve to be six feet under and the sooner the better. And no, I’m not being paranoid. All right, well perhaps a little.

Anyway, the point is, as a consequence of their mud-slinging, I have taken to daily, contemplative soaks in the bath tub of ‘worst-case scenario’.

Not that I am a pessimist, but rather because I am a realist hoping for the best, while preparing for potential imminent career death. So what might I do if it all goes pear-shaped in the next few weeks?

After licking my wounds, I could attempt to seek similar employment, like Zippy, Bungle and George did after their infamous exit from Top Gear last year. You know, for ten times the cash but a fraction of the audience.

The basic car comes on the road for £30k but hey... Race Style RS Recaro shell seats for £1,145. Bloody uncomfortable but you gotta have those

The basic car comes on the road for £30k but hey… Race Style RS Recaro shell seats for £1,145. Bloody uncomfortable but you gotta have those

Failing that, I could sit at home and drive my wife insane until she throws me out, applies for a restraining order and calls in the lawyers.

A few months later, desperate and destitute, I could apply for a correspondence course in becoming an international hit man.

Once qualified I could offer my services free of charge in Broadcast magazine thus: ‘To anyone getting grief from untalented weasels in our industry whose only role in life is dealing in slander about others in order to extend their otherwise moribund existence, STEP ASIDE – ALLOW ME.’

I have no idea what it is that’s driving these rabid malcontents to stoop so low, but I wish them well with their inner demons. In the meantime, I’m going to get on with my job while I still can.

Rock ’n’ roll, my friends, if it isn’t the most talked-about, anticipated car of the year. Bring on the all-singing, all-dancing, all-slipping-and-sliding, brand-new Ford Focus RS. Already quick, already iconic, it just got heaps more of everything and then some.

Heard of ace rally driver Ken Block? He is the man credited with helping Ford develop the RS into an unmissable five-star car phenomenon.

She is like an impatient rocket – albeit, fortunately, one with a highly intelligent torque-vectoring system that can channel power to whichever individual wheel requires it most

She is like an impatient rocket – albeit, fortunately, one with a highly intelligent torque-vectoring system that can channel power to whichever individual wheel requires it most

Ken is the car-whisperer, if he tells a car to brake, dip, turn and spin, it says, ‘Yes, Mr Block. How many times, Mr Block? What colour tyre smoke do you prefer, Mr Block?’

Styling-wise, is there a more Darth Vader-helmeted vehicle on the market today? Check out that whole front grille ensemble.

The RS Vader edition has to be next surely. Come on, Ford, what do you reckon? Or even better, how about the RS Vader 350 edition? After the new 350 recurring theme of power (350hp), torque (350lb ft) and brakes (350mm).

And that’s really what this car is all about: the driving, the driving and nothing but the driving, so help me God (ie, Ken again).

This is the most accessible serious drivers’ car of all time. Unless, that is, you’re The Stig, who drove it for TG a couple of weeks ago. He HATES IT. Shock horror! I’ll tell you why in a bit.

That said, no actual human who’s driven it has anything other than choruses of hero-worship to offer up. Rory Reid, who has made a film about this wonder car for TG, which you can see in four weeks today, says, ‘It’s brilliant. It’s so capable. It does the mundane and the astonishing.

Cornering is a delight. Ford’s claimed 0-60mph in less than five seconds is abundantly evident, even if you don’t totally go for it

Cornering is a delight. Ford’s claimed 0-60mph in less than five seconds is abundantly evident, even if you don’t totally go for it

‘You can go to the shops in it, drift it, race it on a track, where it’ll out-run cars costing far more. On the right roads you can have more fun in it than something more exotic.

‘With all that in mind I’d say it’s arguably more super than some supercars.’ See what I mean?

Historically front-wheel drive, now we’re talking all-wheel drive. Historically just the one, single, lunatic driver setting, now we’re talking four driving modes: Normal, Sport, Track and Drift.

I’ll be honest with you, I was nervous gunning her out on the public highway for the first time, and so I should have been.

She is like an impatient rocket – albeit, fortunately, one with a highly intelligent torque-vectoring system that can channel power to whichever individual wheel requires it most.

Front to back, back to front, port to starboard; you think it, she’ll be there, one step ahead of you.

The steering is precise and responsive, which along with the gearbox and ride combines to make up a package that fits together perfectly and purposefully to reassure the hands behind the wheel and the feet on the pedals that their wish is its command.

As I scrolled through all four driving set-ups, each offered a clearly discernible different feel and attitude.

This is the most accessible serious drivers’ car of all time. Unless, that is, you’re The Stig, who drove it for Top Gear a couple of weeks ago. He HATES IT. Shock horror!

This is the most accessible serious drivers’ car of all time. Unless, that is, you’re The Stig, who drove it for Top Gear a couple of weeks ago. He HATES IT. Shock horror!

Track was most rewarding, with the most evenly spread distribution of power. Sport was fun for a while but the exhaust deceleration pops and bangs quickly became silly, annoying and needlessly offensive to neighbours, mums with prams and innocent elderly ladies walking their poodles.

Drift was (I’m whispering this) a bit underwhelming, or is it just because I’ve had enough of donuts to last me a lifetime? Normal was, er, normal – or at least as normal as this new RS can ever be.

Cornering is a delight. Ford’s claimed 0-60mph in less than five seconds is abundantly evident, even if you don’t totally go for it.

And the most important testimony? Both my boys thought the RS was the absolute mutt’s nuts the moment they clapped eyes on it. And they know stuff.

The basic car comes on the road for £30k but hey…

  • Black forged 19in alloy wheels for £595; you gotta have those.
  • Premium Shadow Black paint for £525; you deffo gotta have that.
  • Race Style RS Recaro shell seats for £1,145. Bloody uncomfortable but you gotta have those too.
  • Painted blue, branded front and rear brake callipers for only £100 – a must, surely!

And so how come The Stig’s not a fan? Well, seeing as he can’t/doesn’t/refuses to speak to non-Stig beings, you’ll have to tune in to the new TG to find out.

Sunday 29 may the first complete show – studio, films, audience, the lot – will be in the can, ready to be aired. If you don’t hear from me again, you’ll know it didn’t go well. In which case, it was nice writing for you.

Adios.

Top Gear's Chris Evans review 2016 Focus RS

Top Gear’s Chris Evans review 2016 Focus RS

TECH SPEC

  • Price UK£29,995,
  • Engine 2.3-litre petrol
  • Gearbox Six-speed manual
  • Power 350hp
  • 0-60mph 4.7 seconds
  • Top speed 165mph
  • Fuel consumption 52.3mpg
  • Annual road tax £210

AND THE VERDICT?
‘The Stig hates it, but no mere mortal who’s driven it has anything other than hero-worship to offer. Arguably more super than some supercars’

Chris Evans for The DailyMail

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