Now that the hype of the Ford Focus RS is starting to die down, we can look at it a bit more objectively. When it first debuted, it was being hailed as the mighty king of all performance values. It was even being compared to the BMW M2, a rear-wheel drive BMW coupe, that’s how much people loved it. Now that its hype is calming down, most enthusiasts realize that, while good, the Focus RS is more competitive with something like the BMW M140i, rather than the M2. Which is exactly the comparison that Drive.com.au makes.
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It’s a good car, the Focus RS, one that’s fun to drive, exciting and very quick. Packing a 2.3 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the Focus RS makes 350 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. That’s quite the healthy power output, especially in something as small as the little Ford. Mated to that punchy four-pot is a proper six-speed manual gearbox and a very clever all-wheel drive system. So it has a ton of grip to go with its power.
As for the Bimmer, it uses a 3.0 liter turbocharged inline-six engine that makes 335 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. It can be had with either a six-speed manual (as it is in this test) or an eight-speed auto. It also has options when it comes to drivetrain, as the BMW M140i can be had with rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
So which car is better? Well, ultimately, Drive likes the Ford Focus RS a bit more.
In terms of value and interior, the BMW M140i is considered to be the better choice. While being a few thousand dollars more expensive, the BMW carries quite a bit more standard equipment and has more available technology. It also has the more premium feeling cabin, with better ergonomics and materials. It might not look as sporty as the Focus but it’s certainly the more expensive feeling of the two.
In terms of handling and dynamics, though, it’s the Ford they prefer. It’s the sharper, more exciting feeling car of the two. It has razor-sharp steering, a loud exhaust and a ton of grip. So it feels like a proper hot hatch. While the BMW M140i is a bit smoother, more rear-driven and a bit calmer. It’s still a ton of fun and has great steering but it’s a bit more of a balanced car, rather than an all-out hot hatch. And if you’re in the hot hatch market, the Ford Focus RS is the better car. If you’re looking for something that’s a bit more usable and comfortable, than go with the Bimmer. But in terms of pure thrills, the Ford is the one you want.