Focus RS versus the world: Competitive test in Europe

There is no substitute for testing cars against each other competitively, both on the track and on the roads. Now that the Focus RS is in regular production, with European deliveries in progress and American deliveries just about 2 weeks off (finally!), regular production cars can be independently tested instead of having to work with pre-production prototypes.

Auto Trader magazine in Britain conducted this test of the 2016 Ford Focus RS against the Honda Civic Type-R, Audi RS3, Mercedes-AMG A45, Volkswagen Golf R, Renault Sport Megane 275 Cup-S, Peugeot 308 GTI By Peugeot Sport 270, BMW 135i and Subaru Impreza WRX STI.

The results won’t surprise savvy readers, so let’s just add an important note to the testing. What’s really being tested here isn’t horsepower, it’s traction. Front wheel drive (inherently poor) traction versus all-wheel drive traction. And of all-wheel drive, it’s the simplistic Haldex-type differential against the very sophisticated and game changing Ford Dynamic Torque Vectoring differential. This is the single most important element of this test, and it’s the single most important element of the Focus RS. It means that instead of just being able to shift torque from the front to the rear, the car can shift torque from the front to the rear *and* side-to-side across the rear wheels. This makes all the difference for traction, especially under track conditions. In all-wheel drive, the differentials are the differentiator. And horsepower here is of secondary interest.

Auto trader provided two videos of the testing:

Testing Video

Behind the Scenes Video

Reference: Auto Trader Magazine:

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