The Ford Focus RS is without doubt one of the greatest hot hatches in history. So it is with a heavy heart that Ford fans heard the news that 2018 will be the last model year for this performance icon. Now Ford has decided to give it a fitting farewell by announcing a limited edition version to mark the end of production.

Limited to just 1,500 examples, this special edition comes equipped with a mechanical limited-slip differential as standard. Ford says the Quaife limited-slip differential, which controls the torque delivered to each front wheel, will let drivers squeeze every bit of performance from the 2.3-litre Eco Boost engine’s 350 horsepower.  “Our new limited-edition Focus RS represents accessible performance at its finest,” says Jamal Hameedi, Ford Performance chief engineer. “Improving on the thrilling driving dynamics of the Focus RS is no small task, but our Ford Performance engineers have delivered a drivetrain capable of wringing every drop of performance from the engine,” he says.

There are a few visual updates as well. Available in a new exterior colour called Race Red and the standard Nitrous Blue, the limited edition car gets new gloss black roof, mirror caps and rear roof spoiler, along with blue RS logos on the side wings.

Meanwhile, changes to the interior are minimal, limited to carbon fibre skinned door handles, handbrake lever and turbo boost gauge surround, while equipment from the RS2 Package is standard, which means there are black leather-trimmed Recaro seats with suede microfiber inserts and RS logo, heated steering wheel, heated exterior mirrors and voice-activated navigation system.

Out of the total, 1,000 units will be available to US customers while the remaining 500 are meant for Canada.