The Focus RS500 is one of the coolest Ford products that never made its way to the United States market. One of these five-cylinder, front-drive rally cars has recently been imported, and detail extraordinaire Larry Kosilla of AMMO NYC was tasked with getting it up to showroom spec.
The RS500 arrived in 2010, representing the ultimate variant of Europe’s second-generation Focus. Only 500 examples were built, with the U.K. getting the lion’s share of the run. This stateside example is number 302, which in itself is a great number for a Ford. The star of the show is the car’s turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine, which provided a monstrous 345 hp and 339 lb-ft when new. For reference, that’s just five horsepower and 11 lb-ft shy of the all-wheel drive Focus RS from 2017.
This particular example has been fiddled with over the years, and now produces 536 hp and 476 lb-ft. That power is routed to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox, though the owner does note that torque steer is now the name of the game. The car was brought to the U.S. under the guise of doing some rallying. Before the car receives any of its livery elements, however, it requires a proper cleaning.
Once the car arrives at his shop, Kosilla begins the detailing process by getting the car up in the air and removing the wheels. A combination of AMMO NYC products is used to knock the underbody grime loose before a pressure washer is used for a cleaning pass. Due to the car’s factory matte wrap, extra care was required before blasting the bodywork with the high-pressure water. A pre-soak was used to allow much of the surface grime to work itself off of the surface, leaving less abrasive material on the wrap before high-pressure water was added. This prevents scratches through the wrap, which is going 15 years old at this point. A regular polish also wouldn’t suffice, so a wipe-down with an alcohol mix was utilized instead. This helps add more depth to the matte hue without actually losing that paint effect.
The end result is harder to judge than a typical shiny detail, but the car looks far better than it did when it arrived. We can’t wait to see this thing get covered in mud all over again when it comes time to compete in the woods.
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