In case you missed the hint, £31,000 is very reasonable for the sort of trick product Ford has delivered. When Audi re-engineered the A1 to take the S-badged car’s driven rear axle, it raised the price of the car by a fifth; here, the jump from top-spec Focus ST is far more reasonable, despite the RS being hugely more capable.

The cars most buyers would cite as rivals – Mercedes-AMG A45, Audi RS3 – are, at best, £10k more expensive, while the Volkswagen Golf R, which is the closest rival in many respects, starts at £31,125.

Nic Cackett

Nic Cackett

Road tester
Exceptional demand should keep Focus RS values higher than rivals’ through to fourth year of ownership

Mechanically, there are no options that make a notable difference the RS. But we would suggest opting for the sportiest seats and uprated stereo/nav in the interest of bolstering the resale value; otherwise, fill your boots.

The Golf R does possibly make more sense in associated running costs.

In our hands, the 2.3-litre Ecoboost proved to be, at times, colossally thirsty. We recorded an overall average (based on the trip computer) of just 19.1mpg, with a touring result of 27.4mpg.

The VW, tested in much the same way, managed 28.7mpg and 33.7mpg respectively.

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Under less strenuous and slightly more scientific True MPG examination, the Focus held up better, recording a much more respectable 29.7mpg, but we’d be inclined to suggest that you put that figure at the far end of your expectations.

The RS’s CO2 emissions, at 175g/km, are decent enough, considering the power output and the fact that the car is handicapped by manual gear ratios.

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