We’ve heard endless comparisons between the BMW M2 and Ford Focus RS since the launch of both cars. The reasoning behind that somewhat strange comparison is really very simple — both cars are tremendously good fun to drive.
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They both go about things in immensely different ways, as the BMW M2 is rear-wheel drive only and the Focus RS is all-wheel drive only. The BMW is a coupe and the Ford is a four-door hatchback. The BMW has a six-cylinder engine and the Ford has a four-banger. They do both come in blue, though…
But both cars have been considered to be the most fun driver’s cars to have come out in quite some time. The BMW M2 is all about proper chassis dynamics and precision while the Ford Focus RS is about pure adrenaline and aggression. So despite being very different but equally fun in their own way, let’s take a look at how they stack up.
In this review from ThisIsMoney, the two cars were taken to Wales, where some of the best driving roads on the planet are, to put both cars to the test in their natural habitat. In terms of power, the BMW simply walks away from the Ford. While both cars actually have similar power figures (350 for the Ford and 365 for BMW), the BMW M2’s 3.0 liter turbocharged straight-six has far more low-down grunt and allows it to completely out-pace the Ford Focus RS and its 2.3 liter turbocharged I4. On wider, bigger and more sweeping roads, the M2 is king. Its steering is better judged and its rear-drive chassis is more composed, allowing it to eat up those roads at speeds that simply make the Focus RS fall apart. The Focus RS’ steering is too quick and twitchy and the suspension is too firm, making it too much of a chore to drive that fast.
However, the tables turn when the roads get tight and narrow. That’s Ford Focus RS territory and its steering speed starts to make sense, as it can just dive into corners and rely on its tenacious all-wheel drive grip to pull it out. Its smaller size also allows it to be easier to chuck around and you can appreciate its firm ride while doing so. The BMW M2 is good on these roads, but is more comfortable on the bigger, less narrow roads. It can handle this stuff and actually handle it very well, but it’s the Ford that really comes to life on them.
In terms of everyday driving, the BMW M2 is the better car. Its interior is far better, although the M2 is much more expensive, and its suspension is far more compliant, while still remaining sporty and firm. And the BMW M2 is a better sports car on 90 percent of the roads in the world and still a great sports car on the other 10 percent. The Ford Focus flips that ratio, as it’s a great sports car on most roads but almost unbeatable on the very few crazy ones. The Focus RS offers the bargain here, coming in at almost 50 percent cheaper than the BMW M2, but the M2 is the better overall car. So it’s a touch choice to make between the two.
ThisIsMoney fails to really claim a winner and we can’t really blame them. But I think it just comes down to budget. If you’re in the market for a new sports car and can afford the BMW M2, it’s the car you should buy. However, if your budget won’t allow an M2, you really can’t go wrong with the Ford Focus RS.