Comparison: BMW M2 vs Ford Focus RS

BMW M2 | January 18th, 2016 by 13
BMW M2 vs Ford Focus RS 750x500

At the moment, the BMW M2 is taking the world by storm. Car enthusiasts everywhere are excited about BMW’s newest M Division product, as it …

At the moment, the BMW M2 is taking the world by storm. Car enthusiasts everywhere are excited about BMW’s newest M Division product, as it seems like a return to form for the Bavarian brand, to cars like the E46 M3. It’s the most hotly anticipated BMW to debut for years and possibly the most hotly anticipated car all year. It’s a big deal. The BMW M2 is even great value, as we talked about previously, as it can be had for only slightly more than a well-equipped M235i and it comes with so much standard equipment. But there’s another very well-equipped and very high performance sports car to come out this year, the Ford Focus RS.

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The previous Focus RS was a fan favorite among car enthusiasts, as it offered great performance and usable practicality at an affordable price. So when Ford announced it was making a new one, based on the much-loved current Ford Focus, fans became very excited. It’s easy to see why, as the new Focus RS is one of the best performance-per-dollar deals on the market. With a 2.3 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, that develops 350 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque, mated to a six-speed manual that powers all four wheels, the Focus RS is able to get from 0-60 mph in a claimed 4.6 seconds. That’s not far off of the claimed time for the BMW M2. Expect both cars to be faster than their claimed times, though. Both should do the sprint in the low four second range.

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While the BMW M2 is going to be a tail-happy, rear-wheel drive smile machine, the Focus RS is more focused (see what I did there?) on grip, as evident by its all-wheel drive. Although all-wheel drive might not be a popular choice among BMW enthusiasts, it’s much better than the front-wheel drive setup of the standard Focus ST. However, to ease the mind of fans that would rather have tail out shenanigans, the Focus RS does have a Drift Mode built in, which automatically sends most of the power to the outside wheels to cause smokey, easy drifts. So both cars are capable of some silly fun on track.


In terms of looks, the BMW M2 is clearly the better-looking car, with its gorgeously proportioned coupe body style and aggressive body work. However, the Focus RS does have a certain utilitarian aggression that is attractive. It looks like it’s fun and that’s really all that matters in this segment. But it’s immediately clear that the M2 is the more premium car. The same goes for the interior. Both cars have interiors that are extremely similar to their lower-end counterparts, but with some sportier touches to them. Both interiors are short on luxuries and emphasize performance over comfort, but the M2’s is clearly the more upscale cabin.

2016 Ford Focus RS

There’s no doubt that the BMW M2 is the better driving, better handling and better looking car of the two. But it’s also almost $20,000 more expensive. The Ford Focus RS offers similar power, similar performance and all-wheel drive grip for a base price of only $36,000. That makes the Focus RS a pretty great performance bargain. It can even be had in a similar shade of blue.

13 responses to “Comparison: BMW M2 vs Ford Focus RS”

  1. bagster8660 . says:

    Both great cars and generating a lot of excitement. I think they will appeal to different demographics given the substantial price difference. The RS is better performance bang for the buck and is the more practical car being 4 door and a hatch if persuading the better half is an issue. They will both sell like hot cakes. Regarding styling, they are both good looking cars. I personally think that BMW could have gone further in regards to giving the M2 a more aggressive stance, but as the owner of a 1M I am biased towards muscular looking cars with a bit of attitude.

  2. jason bourne says:

    Who gives a flying fig about a Drift Mode?

    Clearly it’s just an added feature to make idiots even bigger idiots on the road… That’s the crowd Ford is going after.

    • asdf2 says:

      Just like that smokey tire launch mode BMW has in the M2.

      Lets stop being haters and show some social maturity, both are great cars.

  3. Teemus I says:

    Same target of fun on 4 wheels but…Different cars…different buyers…looks wise its the RS that looks the deal

  4. […] with other cars of lower value, such as the Shelby GT350. In fact we recently just compared the BMW M2 and Ford Focus RS, the latter of which costs almost $20,000 less. So we understand that many potential customers will […]

  5. […] very well-equipped and very high performance sports car to come out this year, the Ford Focus RS.…ford-focus-rs/ Bloggin is online now   Quote Quick […]

  6. […] Comparison: BMW M2 vs Ford Focus RS Reply With Quote […]

  7. Hothatch says:

    “There’s no doubt that the BMW M2 is the better driving, better handling and better looking car of the two. ”

    How are you comparing the driving and handling of the M2 when it isn’t even out yet ??

    Even though I currently own a BMW, I will reserve any judgement on the comparison until I drive the M2. Not impressed with the recent offerings from BMW.
    The RS with the 4 doors and all wheel drive is a very attractive proposition though.

  8. Gary Davey says:

    Have to be a little realistic about these two cars. Your talking about a Ford verses BMW. There is simply no comparison as we all know the BMW is a highly advanced engineered car hence the $20000 difference.
    Performance wise the M2 is vastly quicker and again no comparison in both 0 to 100 kph and top speed.
    Tick the option box on the speed limiter and the engineers will dial in 270 kph. To this end one can only assume the M2 is capable of reaching speeds close to 300 kph unlimited and yes I know we cannot travel that fast on our roads.
    Purchasing cars is no different to other products. You pay for what you get and yes budget rules so value for money is important.

    • Matt says:

      The RS actually has a more advanced suspension and AWD system than the Bimmer. The RS is just as fast as well, I’m not sure where you’re getting your info…

  9. JH says:

    One thing’s for sure, the Focus RS will be much more fun to drive in damp or wet conditions, and let’s not even mention what happens with snow and ice.

  10. […] Ford is one of the few companies that has a longer motorsport history than BMW. In fact, much of BMW’s motorsport history is owed to Ford, as the Bavarians stole some of Ford’s best people back in the ’70s to found the famous M Division. So when Ford says it’s going to make a serious hot hatch that can rival some of the best sports cars from Germany, everyone better take notice. In comes the Ford Focus RS. […]

  11. Steven Rounds says:

    Compare the two interiors…I think that the RS has a more-refined and more-attractive interior. The M2 has a surfeit of plastic chrome splattered all over the interior, while the RS has a more modern, less-is-more look to it. But the big improvement the RS has is VERTICAL vents. I’ve always had to use both the driver’s and passenger’s inboard vents to cool or heat me, as I’m 6’4″. One for the upper body, one for the lower. The RS has finally come up with the ergonomic answer…a vertical vent that can cover the ENTIRE upper body with one vent. My kids are 6’4″ and 6’5″, so they’ll appreciate the better passenger comfort levels. Oh, yeah, not to mention the RS’s fantastic AWD system. And 350 hp. And 345 lb./ft. And $38k price (with forged wheels/Cup 2 tires). I’m looking forward to a Cayman/RS duel on the Nurburgring. Or 911/RS, as long as the RS stays far enough ahead, or far enough behind the 911, to avoid smashing into the 911 when it snap-oversteers and spins out.

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