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Ford Focus RS Gets 38 MPG, Instills Euro Envy

Posted in Car Stunts, Collector Cars, Compact Cars, Fast Cars, Favorite Cars, Ford, Foreign Cars, Fuel-efficient, New Cars, Newsworthy by Alex Kierstein | October 6th, 2009 | 5 Responses |


The new European Ford Focus has long been the envy of any Blue Oval fan worth his or her salt, and there’s news out of Essex that is liable to make Stateside Ford nuts curse their luck again. At a British MPG competition, the apparently stock Focus RS was manned by an automotive journalist, and returned fuel economy numbers that are rather astonishing. The 163 MPH capable Ford Focus RS, that nimble hot hatch that is nothing like our ancient creaky joke of a car, can return a remarkable 38.5 miles per imperial gallon if you lay off the fun pedal. That’s 31.6 MPG in our smaller American gallons, but it’s still nothing to shake a crumpet at. Press release and more after the jump.


The 2.5L four-cylinder pumps out 301 HP, so it’s not exactly some poseur powerplant. Despite its front-drive disposition, the little RS can hit 62 MPH in just 5.9 seconds. To put that in perspective, the excellent 2009 Mazdaspeed 3 has similar power and performance numbers, but only returns 25 MPG on the freeway. That being said, it should be noted that the Focus RS is quoted as getting a similar MPG number to the aforementioned Mazdaspeed 3 (30.1 imp MPG / 25 US MPG), so the only way to truly understand these numbers is for Mazda to challenge Ford to a hot hatch MPG throwdown.

Press Release


BRENTWOOD, Essex, 05 October 2009 – Ford’s fastest-ever European production car, the 163mph Focus RS, added a surprising new figure to its remarkable performance statistics – an average fuel consumption of 38.5mpg.

This impressive result, one of the best in its class, was officially recorded during the UK’s seventh annual MPG Marathon, which finished this week.

This frugal driving challenge is judged by the improvement in economy over official, manufacturer-supplied figures. The 2.5-litre, 305PS Ford Focus RS used just nine gallons of fuel to cover the competition’s 360 miles, bettering the car’s quoted 30.1mpg combined fuel consumption figure by 28 per cent.

At the wheel for the duration of the two-day event was automotive writer Jeremy Walton, who covered the varied route at regular road speeds, guided by co-driver Alyson Marlow. Jeremy said: “This is the fastest RS road car yet, but also the most efficient. This shows that, with a bit of restraint, you can use an efficient, high-performance car in daily driving, without enormous fuel bills.”

Ford Team RS powertrain manager, Len Urwin, led the team that developed the Focus RS engine. He said: “Focus RS was designed throughout to appeal to the heart and the head. This result shows how successful we’ve been, both in making Focus RS a practical day-to-day car – as well as continuing the 40-year RS tradition of exciting, high performance.”

More than half of the UK’s Ford Focus RS allocation has already been sold, with each priced at £26,395 on-the-road.

Note: Fuel economy figures quoted are in UK mpg, based on the European Fuel Economy Directive EU 80/1268/EEC and will differ from fuel economy drive cycle results in other regions of the world.

[Source: Ford]

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5 Responses

  1. tehllama says:

    “That’s 31.6 MPG in our larger American gallons”

    If our gallons are larger, shouldn’t we be able to achieve more miles per gallon with the same car? This doesn’t make sense, unless an imperial mile is shorter than an American mile, which I know isn’t true.

    If you put one imperial gallon in a car and go 38 miles, and then put one American gallon in, you should be able to go farther since the American gallon is ~4% larger in volume.

  2. Dustin May says:

    I laugh when I hear people say the American car companies don’t build cars that Americans want. Then, I realize that they do, but they don’t sell them here. And I cry.

  3. Alex Kierstein says:

    @tehllama: You’re exactly right. The imperial gallon is larger (~4.5L) versus our standard wet gallon (~3.8L). Thanks for catching that. The conversion of the MPG figures is correct however.

  4. The Ford Focus RS shows that performance – ei., fun to drive meter set on 11 – and mileage do not have to be mutually exclusive. Dustin May is correct. Ford should sell it here.

    Since Ford didn’t take any government money, and is not beholden to the dictates of the current administration, maybe Mr. Mulally will make that happen.

  5. Matt says:

    Yet they continue to shove Mustangs and F150’s down our throats. If they bring this thing to the US, It would probably be the first American car I and many other European car fans would buy.

    Come on Ford! Bring it here! People WILL buy it!