Return of the beast

The Focus RS is back!

In a YouTube teaser trailer, Ford Europe have informed the world that the RS Mk 3 will hit the roads on February 3 2015. It’s been a little while coming – the ordinary Mk 3 was launched in 2011, and we’ve been (somewhat) patiently waiting for the sportier version ever since.

The older RS Mk 1 was one of the truly fun hot hatches, over-engineered to such a degree that Ford lost £4,000 on sales of each mode, held its own against the rivals, was fairly cheap to buy and depreciates a lot slower. Powered by a turbocharged version of the 2.0L Zeta engine (which wasn’t too far off the WRC version), it had 212 horsepowers underneath the bright bonnet, with 70% of the original Focus parts upgraded or replaced, with production limited to 4,500. We still keep an eye out for a 2002-04 model in that fantastic shade of blue.

The Mk 2 was a step up, with the addition of an extra 88hp for even more oomph, and was described by Ford UK at the time as being “as close as you’ll come to driving a full-spec rally car.”

It’s expected the Mk 3 will be FWD, just like the other two, with another increase in power, likely around 330hp but perhaps higher. “To earn the RS badge, the vehicle has to be a no-compromise driver’s car that can deliver exceptional performance on the track when required while providing excellent every day driving,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development.

Ford hasn’t released any other details about this latest version, but as the teaser trailer hints, we can expect a car in the same spirit as its two predecessors – flash, loud, fast and required by law to travel sideways around bends.

Google maps Top Gear’s legendary track

Undoubtedly a very large amount of petrolheads would give their gear-changing hand for a spin around the famous Top Gear test track, though not necessarily in a reasonably-priced car.

And, for those of you who always wanted to do so, good news! Well, sort of.

You see, one of Google’s street view cars has recently taken a spin around the hallowed tarmac. A modified Opel Astra teamed up with the Stig in a Mercedes SLS AMG Black, to allow the tame racing driver to keep up with the powerful Astra, albeit for much of the time in a position that could only really be described as sideways.

Yes, we know, it doesn’t exactly get you in a car on the tarmacadam. But, let’s face it. Scrolling around the track on Google Maps is probably as close as most of us are going to get.