Who doesn’t like hot hatches?

This is the latest release by Ottomobile, the ‘17 Ford Focus RS, and I have a little backstory on how this little pocket rocket ended up in the collection. You see, these are going for no less than $120 shipped on eBay. That’s a lot to pay for a plastic Focus. Would you pay that for a plastic Focus? Or a plastic Civic? or...plastic Corolla? Not me.

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Luckily American Excellence comes to the rescue. They have this model for a low, low price of $80 plus their standard $10 shipping. (For the record, their prices on GT Spirit and Otto models are some of the cheapest I’ve ever seen, but their AUTOarts are certified crack pipe.) That sounds about right for something like this. I bookmarked the product page on their website, intending to come back in a couple days and place my order. But before I could make a final decision, they were sold out. Gone. In the blink of an eye. And for the super low price, it’s not hard to see why.

Black Friday week came around, with them having their 20% off sale on many of their items. Many of you LaLDers capitalized on it. The two models I had been eyeing, this and the GT Spirit Shelby GT350R, were both still sold out. So I gave up on this model altogether. Save the money, spend it on something else - there’s so much out there to choose from anyways.

It’s funny because I don’t actually know the exact URL for American Excellence’s website, and I still don’t. I use the bookmarked page (which is the Focus, remember) to get there when I need to. I felt like browsing through their sales one more time. I clicked the shortcut and bam! A single Focus RS in stock, and on sale for $64. Easiest decision ever. Now you get to see it on your screen.

As a model, it’s fantastic. The proportions. The color choice. The wheels. The offset. As far as detail is concerned, this one is actually a step above some of the older Otto models I own. The grilles are actually individual mesh pieces now instead of black paint. Perhaps they were listening to my rants, because this is starting to close the gap between Otto and the slightly-more-expensive GT Spirit sister brand.

As much as I love hot hatches, I do have to say that the design of the RS hasn’t grown on me as much as I thought it would. The front end still looks too bulky and too tall. I’m not a fan of the wheels, and particularly not in black. The RS doesn’t have the sleekness of the original Mazdaspeed 3 or the muscular looks of the former WRX STi hatchback, two of my all-time favorite cars.

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Nonetheless, you can’t complain with a 350 HP car that costs under 40k and has all the utility of a 5-door. This is a nice model for those who like hatches and even better if you’re able to get one around the $80 mark or less. Those of you who follow Otto/GT Spirit releases should know that there are some absolute gems coming early next year. Mk.III Supra, anyone?

Mine has a little boo boo.