When the Ford Focus first debuted, it was marketed as a replacement for the beloved Ford Escort. And in 2002, Ford launched its high-performance Mk I Focus RS, featuring a 2.0-liter turbocharged Duratec engine and plenty of modifications to compete for the hot hatch crown. Unfortunately, the original Focus RS was only available in Europe, which meant no one in North America could own one until it arrived for the 2016 model year with the Mk III version.
The life of this AWD-powered world beater was short-lived in the USA and Canada, lasting just two years before being discontinued as Ford decided to alter its focus from sedans to SUVs and trucks. That said, the owner of a 2001 Ford Focus decided to take it upon themselves to create an RS here in North America, but instead of having a Duratec RS engine with turbochargers, they opted for a supercharged Coyote V8. This particular creation was built with thrill in mind with an absurd power-to-weight ratio, and it sold at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The Coyote-swapped 2001 Ford Focus “RS” widebody still features rear-wheel drive. This particular car has a national following and for a good reason. A ton of work has gone into this project over the years, with the latest modifications being a Gen 2 Coyote engine with a 3.0-liter Whipple supercharger rated at well over 500 horsepower. All that power is managed by a 5-speed T45 manual transmission and an 8.8 Ford Mustang rear differential with an Eaton Tru Trac differential and a 3.73 gear ratio. A hot hatch, indeed.
The car was fitted with custom headers and exhaust, Dakota Digital gauges, a full roll cage, a custom fuel cell, Recaro seats, and a custom metal cowl hood which looks exquisite on the Focus. The car was built for SEMA in the early 2000s and has undergone profound changes and upgrades to get it to this point. The car sold for an impressive $35,200 at the auction, bringing in about as much as many people pay for a new car despite its age. Though we can see exactly why someone would want to put down that amount of money for this thing, it’s epic.