The third generation Ford Focus RS is not only more powerful than its predecessors, it also has significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions.
The 2016 Focus RS emits 175 grammes of carbon dioxide (CO²) per kilometre. That puts it in VED band H, which attracts a current annual rate of Vehicle Excise Duty of £205.00. However, for the year following the car’s first registration, a higher rate of VED (the so-called ‘showroom tax’) of £295.00 will be payable.
This compares favourably to its predecessors.
The mark 1 RS, launched in 2002, emits 237 grammes of CO² per kilometre. A new car with this level of CO² emissions would normally fall within VED band L and attract an annual duty of £490.00. However, cars registered before 23rd March, 2006 (such as the mark 1 Focus RS) which emit more than 225 grammes of CO² per kilometre fall instead into VED band K. The annual amount of duty payable for a car in band K is £290.00.
The mark 2 RS, introduced in 2009, emits 225 grammes of CO² per kilometre. This places it into VED band K, resulting in an annual VED bill of £290.00.
The VED system will radically change in 2017, but only for cars registered from 1st April 2017 onwards. Under the new system, the owner of a Focus RS registered on or after 1st April, 2017 will have to pay VED of £800 in the year in which it is registered and £140 per year thereafter. This is respectively £900 and £400 less for the first year’s VED than would be payable if the third generation Focus RS had the same level of CO² emissions as the mark 1 and mark 2 models.
The lower emissions of the 2016 Focus RS are the result of a combination of improved engine technology and the fitting of Ford’s stop/start system to the third generation Focus RS.
This system, which can be switched off if the driver wishes, cuts the engine when the car comes to a stop in neutral and starts it again when the clutch or throttle is depressed. The big advantage of the system as regards emissions (of gases and particles) is that an engine which isn’t running (even at idle) puts out no emissions.
Apart from the stop/start system, the other main reason for the third generation Focus RS’s lower level of CO² emissions is its Ecoboost engine. The rationale behind Ford’s Ecoboost family of turbocharged and direct petrol-injection engines is that they produce the power and torque of larger capacity engines while offering better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions.
In the case of the 2016 Focus RS, its 2.3 litre, four cylinder Ecoboost engine is smaller and lighter than the 2.5 litre, five cylinder unit fitted to the second generation RS. Furthermore, advances in engine management systems and fuelling technology mean that the third generation Focus RS’s powerplant is more efficient and more powerful than the units fitted to both previous generations of Focus RS, as demonstrated by the fact that in the 14 years between the first and third generation Focus RS models, the RS’s horsepower has increased by over 60% whilst its CO² emissions have dropped by over 25%.
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