French magazine Echappement (exhaust) has named the Ford Focus RS500 as the “Sportive de l’Annee” (Sports Car of the Year) – Ford’s fifth win since the start of the contest in 1982. The Focus RS500 is believed to continue where other historic Ford models left off. In fact, the first edition of the contest in 1982 was won by the Escort RS1600i.
This was followed in 1990 by the Sierra Cosworth 4x4 and in 1992 by the Escort Cosworth. The Focus RS won in 2002. With these five awards, Ford is clearly the leader when it comes to this category. Just last year, the Focus RS was runner-up in the same category.
It was mostly voted by readers of the magazine. For the 2010 contest, the second place went to the Renault Megane RS while the Porsche Boxter Spyder and Audi RS5 tied for third place. To get to the winner, the editors of the Echappement magazine first have to come up with a list of sports cars aspiring to the title of Sports Car of the Year.
The ten candidates will be tested by rally driver Brian Bouffier, Rookie of the Year 2010 winner, Mathieu Arzeno, and three lucky readers of Echappement on the roads of Ain and Beaujolais before dealing with the corners of the Bresse circuit.
Considering the differences of features and positioning of these cars, the jury was not there to make a direct confrontation but to pick the model that has the greatest assets to deserve the title of Sports Car of the Year. Votes were taken from those who tested the vehicles on the road as well as from readers and Internet polls.