Editorial

The Ford Focus RS May Be A Badass Hot Hatch But It's Still A Bad Investment

"Damn, that hatchback is worth a crap ton!" - No One Ever

What do the Ford Focus RS, BMW M2 and Dodge Challenger Hellcat all have in common? They’re all cars we think will be bad investments. Note that we’re not saying these cars will suck (emotional investment) or be worth more down the road than what the original MSRP was. No, in this context we’re talking about purchasing a car with the hope that it one day pays off your student loans or your house’s mortgage. The Ford Focus RS is one of our favorite new cars but it's not a good investment. Here's why.

Ford hasn't said how many Focus RSes it will build. We think it will be a lot. The first two iterations of the Focus RS, the Mk1 and Mk2, saw limited production. Only 4,501 Mk1s were made and about 11,500 Mk2s were built. The elder Focus RS was built from 2002-2003 and the second coming was released in 2009 and produced for three years. That’s not a lot of cars, but remember: The Focus RS was never sold stateside. Adding in such a large market will necessitate that Ford builds more Focus RSes. Another reason why we think Ford will make quite a lot of Focus RSes is due to how much hype the hot hatch has. Ford has built up a lot of this hype on its own, even releasing a frickin’ making-of documentary!

Why spend all that money getting people riled up if you’re going to strangle production? The final sign of a decent-sized production run is the price of the Focus RS. It starts at $35,000, which isn’t exactly the price of a halo car. Why give a $35,000 hot hatch the production cap of a Ford GT? The reason why we’re harping on production numbers is because rarity goes a long way to determining a car’s worth years later. Another very important factor is how the car is treated. People are going to beat the hell out of this. Just look at what it can do! It has all-wheel drive, an optional winter tire set and can get from 0-62 mph in just 4.7 seconds thanks to its Mustang-sourced 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine. People who buy this car are going to have fun with it, and rightfully so.

But all that fun will wear on the car and hurt its resale value, especially if a (relative) crap ton of these come off the line. The final issue we see with the Focus RS becoming a solid investment is the lack of options for it. We’re happy so much awesome stuff is standard but the inability to truly customize the car means all of them will look and perform the same. Have you played with the configurator yet? There’s not much to do. Now all of this could change tomorrow, say if Ford revealed production numbers or rolled out a limited edition paint job (bleh). But as it stands now the Focus RS seems like an awesome car to drive that will hold its value over time. But being worth $42,000 in 2020 is not the same as being worth $75,000 in 2026 now is it?

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