Ford keeps its sporting character European

Ford brings the Model T Montier and Focus RS500 to the 2010 Le Mans Classic.

Wayne Cunningham Managing Editor / Roadshow
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
Ford Model T Montier
Ford Model T Montier
Ford brings its Model T Montier back to Le Mans. This car competed in the original 1923 Le Mans race. Ford

With F150 pickups dominating its sales, Ford hasn't maintained a sporting reputation in the United States. But Europeans see a different side of Ford, and nothing could highlight that more than the presence of the Ford Model T Montier from July 9 through July 11 at this year's Le Mans Classic in France. The Model T Montier participated in the very first Le Mans endurance race in 1923.

Ford Focus RS500
The Focus RS500 will appear with the Model T Montier at Le Mans. Ford

Ford isn't just resting on ancient laurels, as the company will also show off its Focus RS500. Ford based the limited edition vehicle on its already souped-up hatchback Focus RS, a variant of the Focus not available in the U.S.

This impressive little barn burner gets a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine that pumps 345 horsepower and 340 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels. The RS500 has 40 more horsepower than the standard Focus RS, and hits 60 mph in about 5.5 seconds.

The RS500 keeps its occupants in place with heavily bolstered sport seats while the driver shifts a six-speed-manual transmission and special RS-branded brakes provide it with stopping power.

According to Ford, it  is only making 500 of these cars, hence the RS500 name. A plaque in the cabin shows the production number of each individual car.

Ford Focus RS500 (photos)

See all photos