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2019 March
of the Month

  • Welcome to Forever Pontiac

    We are a community of Pontiac enthusiasts. The purpose of our community is to keep alive the Pontiac spirit by sharing (or showing off) our cars, discussing Pontiac, helping each other work on our cars and find information, plus attend various meets/shows/etc... To aid discussion, sharing, event planning and selling of parts/cars/anything, we have various parts of the website to aid this from Forums to an online Garage to Classifieds to even a Document Download Repository. You can find links to these in our navigation above based on what each section helps with (discussion, local events, learning, etc...).

    We invite you to contribute, find help or just view some of our member's amazing cars! Don't forget, we also have great contests from time to time (like our Pontiac of the Month and yearly calendar contest) and our Pontiac This OR That, a fun game where you choose the best of two randomly selected Pontiacs from our online garage.

    We look forward to seeing you around!

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Car and Driver: How We’d Spec It: The RS-Kicking-est 2016 Ford Focus RS

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2016 Ford Focus RS

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Let’s face it: Folks buying all-wheel-drive, turbocharged hot hatchbacks (and sedans, we aren’t forgetting you, Subaru WRX STI!) aren’t doing so because it’s logical. After all, spending nearly $40,000 on what to most people will appear to be an ordinary compact car could be seen as unhinged, especially considering the  far more powerful Ford Mustang GT and Chevrolet Camaro SS cost about the same. Yet those cars are flashy, lack all-weather traction, and have useless back seats. To us, the Golf R and Focus RS are intensely personal car purchases, the perfect everyday performance machines, easily slipping past most everyone else’s radar while delivering oodles of driving satisfaction without compromising practicality. We’ve set up this argument because Ford’s Focus RS online configurator is live, and in our latest fit of How We’d Spec It fantasy car-ordering, we priced out an RS to an almost absurd MSRP. Hold those “What about a Mustang!?” comments and let us explain.

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MODEL:

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2016 Ford Focus RS (base price: $36,605)

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Right off the bat, the Focus RS is $135 more than a four-door Volkswagen Golf R, and despite going without standard leather seating or heated front seats, it one-ups the VW with 19-inch wheels (to the Golf R’s 18s), adaptive HID headlights, Recaro seats, and a 10-speaker Sony audio system. Then there’s the 350-hp Ford’s 58-hp advantage over the Golf R. Other standard equipment shared by both the Ford and the VW includes dual-zone automatic climate control, a six-speed manual transmission, a touch-screen infotainment display, proximity key entry and pushbutton ignition, and a body kit. The Ford’s body kit, of course, is a bit wilder than the Golf’s. With such a rich list of features—and epic performance, as we found out in our first drive—a base Focus RS would make for a plenty-satisfying purchase. Even so, were it our money, we’d spend more; the options list is simply too tempting, and remember, the Focus RS is a personal choice!

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2016 Ford Focus RS

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OPTIONS:

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Stealth Gray paint ($0)

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RS winter tire and wheel package ($1995)

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19-inch forged aluminum wheels with Michelin Cup 2 track tires ($1990)

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RS2 package ($2785)

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Tallying up our options, we’ve added $6770 in extras, mostly in wheels and tires. Here’s why: As we’ve noted many times, our office is situated in the great white north, where cold, snow, and misery reign for seven months of every year. The RS’s standard summer tires would not do well in that environment, so we sprung for the RS Winter Tire and Wheel package right away. For $1995, Ford rolls into your payments a set of factory 18-inch RS wheels wrapped in Michelin Alpin PA4 winter tires, no extra trips to the tire store or need to suffer with ugly aftermarket rims. As a bonus, the included wheels feature a silvery finish (the stock rims are dark gray) that should continue to look good even with road grime and salt caked on them.

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2016 Ford Focus RS

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Next on our shopping list? The RS’s ultra-hot-looking 19-inch forged aluminum wheel option. These come with the stock Michelin Super Sport tires for $1395 or, for another $505, with a set of Michelin Cup 2 tires. Given that those tires retail for nearly $400 a pop, and we’ve already taken care of our bad-weather needs with the winter-tire option, and we’d take the RS to the track were it ours, the full monty was a no-brainer. Hot looks, light weight, and insane grip? Yes, please.

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To round out our Focus RS’s daily commuting skills, we also added the $2785 RS2 package, which includes an eight-way power driver’s seat, partial-leather for the Recaro seats, heated door mirrors, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and navigation. Finishing off our masterpiece, we passed over the RS’s debut color, Nitrous Blue, for the ultra-stealthy Stealth Gray paint. We’ve seen this hue in person, and gives the Ford a subtle whiff of anger without screaming for attention. With the black wheels and bright blue brake calipers, the gray paint is nearly perfect.

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Those keeping score will have already done the math and figured out that our hypothetical Focus RS would sticker for $43,375. We will admit that anything over $40K is strong money for a hatchback, even one with 350 horsepower, and that several arguably better alternatives are less expensive. Play with the Mustang’s order sheet, for example, and one can build a GT with leather, Recaro seats, the GT Performance package, navigation, dual-zone automatic climate control, and more—for $1000 cheaper. A BMW M235i is only slightly more, at $45,145. And we could go on and on. But remember, such arguments, while valid, will not sway the Focus RS or Golf R buyer. And hey, if you’re going to spend $36K on what everyone else will see as an economy car, why not go all the way and spend $43,000 on said hatchback? You’ve only got to answer to yourself.

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