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How the new Ford Focus RS is faster than a supercar

By raccars Published

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Is the new Ford Focus RS going to slay some of the biggest names on the high performance scene?

Not since the Eighties has there been such a vibrant hot hatch scene. And Ford's latest Focus RS is the latest model to join the exciting gang. For less than £30,000, it boasts four wheel drive and 345bhp, giving it the sort of performance that used to be given the tag 'supercar'.

Vital statistics

Petrol heads have been eagerly awaiting its arrival since the debut in Geneva last year. The order books are open now and the first customers are set to receive their RS in a few months. What they'll be getting is the same four cylinder 2.3 litre turbo charged EcoBoost engine used in the new Ford Mustang, which will get them from 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 165mph. This is not your average family hatchback and these statistics put the new Ford Focus RS on a par with the likes of the Honda Civic Type R, Mercedes A45 AMG and the Audi RS3.

Creating a supercar killer

Ford has been open about the development procedure it undertook with the new RS, including a rigorous testing programme taking in the Arctic tundra and the scorching deserts of Arizona. Ford claims that it prioritised performance over budget while working on the car, without forgetting that the end result needed to be affordable.

The new Focus RS contains a number of innovations from the firm, including a sophisticated new all-wheel drive set up for a tenacious grip, and numerous weight-saving measures. The car certainly looks the part, with athletic styling including a bullish nose and flaring wheel arches. It's the latest in a fine history of hot Fords which includes the legendary Cosworth RS models and a couple of previous Focus RS editions.

What's slower than the new Ford Focus RS?

Designed to be an affordable alternative to the traditional supercars, what can owners of the new Ford Focus RS look forward to seeing in their rear view mirrors if they pull away at full whack?

Well, speed freaks who had posters of the Lamborghini Countach on their walls in the Eighties would be left trailing in the Ford's dust. One of the world's most iconic supercars takes about three quarters of a second longer to get to 62mph than the Focus. Another Eighties giant, the Ferrari Testarossa, would get Sonny Crockett to 62mph a whole second after the Focus, despite squeezing 390bhp out of a 5.0 litre engine.

The Aston Martin V8 Vantage's engine is more than double the size of Ford's modest 2.3 litre unit. However pit the two head-to-head off the line and all eyes will be on the gorgeous Aston even whilst it is overtaken by the Focus RS, which is a fifth of a second quicker than the Aston at getting to 62mph.

The Bentley Mulsanne Speed is no slouch, with a twin turbo 6.75 litre V8 engine under its enormous bonnet. However it's that very bulk which makes it marginally slower than the new Focus RS at 4.9 seconds to 62mph, although the Focus runs out of breath long before the Bentley reaches its top speed of 190mph.

What will really upset some, however, is that the Focus can also leave the new Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet staring at its tail lights. In basic format, the Porsche takes 4.8 seconds to reach 62mph. Imagine sitting next to someone at a dinner party who is proudly boasting about his or her new drop top Porsche getting to 62mph in 4.8 seconds - only to find they'd be outrun by the Ford owner sitting next to them. Perhaps they should have splashed out on the PDK gearbox and Sport Plus package for some real speed...

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