Ford is marking the end of production of the current generation of Focus RS with a special edition bearing a famous model name from the past – RS500.

The Focus RS500 delivers 350ps from its turbocharged 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine – up 15 percent from the regular Focus RS thanks to bigger intake and exhaust pipework, a larger intercooler, an uprated fuel pump and revised engine management settings. Boost pressure has not been raised 'significantly', Ford says.

The engine revisions have been engineered by Revolve Technologies, the company behind the Ford-approved Mountune performance upgrades.

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Focus RS500s have a matt black foil finish with gloss black wheels and aerodynamic devices.

RS500s will be finished in matt black, with metallic black alloy wheels and a gloss black finish to the lower front grille and splitter, twin-blade rear wing and rear venturi.

The matt black finish was developed in partnership with the technology company 3M. All Focus RS500s will be painted in a standard Panther Black metallic before being shipped to 3M near Frankfurt, where a special foil film will be applied to the bodywork to create the matt black effect. The film is said to be extremely durable and designed to resist superficial marks and scratches.

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Red leather Recaro seats liven up the Focus RS500 cabin – but they're optional.

Despite the sales success of the Focus RS – more than 11,000 will be built by the end of production, against Ford's original forecast of 8000 – only 500 RS500s will be built, 101 of them destined for the UK. Demand for the special edition car is likely to outstrip supply.

Production of the final RS500s is due to take place at Ford's Saarlouis plant in Cologne in September 2010.

The original RS500

Ford first used the RS500 name on a special edition of the Sierra Cosworth in 1987. Like the Focus only 500 were built, in this case to homologate the car for Group A touring car racing.

The RS500 specification included a large turbo, a second set of injectors, bigger brakes and brake ducts and extensions to the front air dam and rear wing. All the modifications were carried out by Tickford in Milton Keynes.

The Group A RS500 dominated touring car racing in the late 1980s – in terms of outright race wins if not championship victories, which were often awarded for class wins – and it wwon the World Touring Car Championship in 1987.

Focus RS500 official site

2010 Ford Focus RS500 Key Facts

Power 350ps @ 6000rpm

Torque 460Nm @ 2500-4500rpm

0-100km/h 5.6 seconds

0-100mph 12.2 seconds

Top speed 165mph

Production run 500 units