I said big changes were coming for the RS, and they don’t come much bigger than a complete colour change. But why? What was wrong with the previous wrap? Well, absolutely nothing. But, the fast Ford scene is constantly evolving; it’s a constant cycle of new ideas and trends, so if want to make sure you stand out then you need to move with the times and keep re-inventing yourself (or your car!). If you don’t, the scene will leave you behind and you can quickly start to look a bit out-dated.
That’s why, after two and bit years of owning the RS, I decided the time was right for a freshen up. First up were new wheels; the super-rare Velgen Classic5 (only available from Steeda UK) is a timeless design that combines style and aggression, and in my opinion suits the Mk3 RS perfectly. I’ve always like classic five-spoke designs, and this is definitely one of my favourites. And, when wrapped in the awesomely aggressive Toyo R888R tyres, the RS’s looks (not to mention grip) had been significantly beefed up. Talking of the tyres, I’ve now covered approximately 1000 miles since fitting the R888Rs, and while they do make a bit of a din when cruising around town, the noise at motorways speeds is much more bearable – an encouraging and faint little whine in the distance that serves as a constant reminder that your driving something pretty special. And my God do they grip! I’ve preached about the importance of good tyres for years, but even I never thought they would work this well on a road car. I’m excited to see what they’ll be like on track!
But while the new wheels and tyres looked good alongside the old wrap, they were only the first part of the facelift. Believe it or not, the previous Satin Glacial Frost wrap had been on the car for almost two years, and as the car has attended numerous shows and events during that time, as well as appearing in the mag and on our website, it’s fair to say that it had been seen by a few sets of eyes.
And the beauty of a vinyl wrap is that when you decide it’s time for a change, you can simply peel the old wrap off and start again. In fact, it’s better than that. When we removed the old wrap (which, incidentally is a piece of cake to do – it literally peels off with no real effort. Keep your eyes peeled for a video from 3M Wraps UK coming soon to show just how easy it is!) the paintwork underneath was as spotless and blemish-free as the day the wrap was applied, despite going through two winters and racking up over 10k miles in the process.
While the original Frozen White was in pristine condition, it wasn’t really going to cut the mustard after such an eye-catching colour as the bluey-purple flip wrap. So, I was flicking through 3M’s catalogue when a new colour caught my eye – Satin Ghost Pearl. Based on a satin white vinyl this seemed to tick all the boxes for me; it was still a satin finish so would highlight the swoops and shapes of the RS’s bodykit better than a high-gloss finish, it was based on white so the door shuts and inaccessible areas around the rear screen, rear tailgate, and so on (and any stone chips!) wouldn’t show up as much as before, and, finally, it is also a flip-finish which dances with all sorts of colours when the sunlight hits it yet remains subtle when in the shade.
It all sounded perfect, so I got on the phone to 3M to order some of the film and ask them who they recommend to apply the new wrap. They suggested The Vehicle Wrapping Centre, and having seen some of their work on ex-feature cars in the past I knew the quality on offer. The only problem is they’re in Leeds, and I’m in the South West. And with deadlines coming out of my ears I’ve been so busy recently I was struggling to find time to take the car up there. Then, while looking through the Bridgend Ford meet feature from last issue I stumbled across Adam Bowler and Series One Recovery Services. A quick call, and the RS was soon loaded on the back of Adam’s rather swish low-loader and heading north.
The guys at The Vehicle Wrapping Centre have done an absolutely stellar job with the new wrap. I’ve seen a few wraps in person now, and I have to say that the fit and finish is easily among the best I’ve seen. The notoriously-fiddle rear spoiler doesn’t even look like it’s been wrapped – there aren’t any visible joint lines and the whole thing looks like it could have left the factory that way.
You’ll no doubt notice from the photos that I’ve gone for a kind of ‘Fast Ford Edition’ style with the new design, incorporating a satin black roof, spoiler, and wing mirrors to mimic the Edition models. But I’ve also gone one further, by wrapping the side skirts in satin black I think it really beefs-up the overall aggression of the RS, plus the back skirts work really well with the splitter extensions already fitted. The black on its own was a bit strong, though, but it provides the perfect running board to show some love for the brands and products we’ve chosen to fit too.
I’m really chuffed with the new look. It’s subtle enough to go unnoticed when on daily duties, but when sat gleaming in the sunshine at shows 3M’s Satin Ghost Pearl finish really pops – even if it is an utter pig to capture in a photograph! You really do need to see this in the metal to appreciate the effect. And some of your probably already have, as the car was on show on the Fast Ford stand at Ford Fest recently, and as I type this I’m just getting ready to head to TRAX where it will be on display at the centre of the Ford Paddock too.
I’m not finished yet either. I’ve already been on the phone to my tuners of choice, mountune, and the RS is now booked in for a full turbo-back exhaust and M400 software upgrade soon too! But more on that next month…
3M Wraps UK
The Vehicle Wrapping Centre
Steeda UK / Velgen Wheels