The new third generation Ford Focus RS is about to hit the road and in anticipation of this we have been comparing and contrasting this exciting hot hatchback with its classmates. Whilst driving impressions will have to wait just a little bit longer, we were one of the first to get up close and personal with the finished RS at a special event. Continuing our “RS vs” series is the Audi RS3, a car that will be one of the chief rivals for the Ford. 2016 Ford Focus RS vs Audi RS3 Sportback.
Kicking off with the new kid on the block, the Ford Focus RS is powered by a turbocharged 2.3 litre EcoBoost engine. This unit produces 345BHP and 324lb ft of torque, this can rise to 347lb ft on overboost for up to 15 seconds. A six speed manual transmission is the only gearbox option and those cogs send power to the cars all wheel drive chassis. 0-62 MPH takes 4.7 seconds and it will go onto a top speed of 165 MPH.
The Audi RS3 Sportback fights back with a 2.5 litre five cylinder turbocharged engine producing 362 BHP. 343lb ft of torque is channeled to the ground via a Quattro all wheel drive system. A seven speed S-Tronic automatic gearbox will aid the car in its 0-62 MPH sprint in just 4.3 seconds. Its top speed is 174 MPH.
Both cars are practical hatchbacks seating five and possessing a decent amount of cargo space. The Focus RS comes with a set of excellent Recaro seats, but it is the Audi that wins out in terms of interior quality with superior materials and design. This isn’t that surprising as this Sportback is very much designed for the premium market.
The Ford Focus RS weighs slightly more than the RS3 at 1,599 KG vs the Germans 1,520 KG. Neither are particularly light cars, but the Audi again takes the advantage here.
Whilst the Audi does seem to somewhat dominate the Focus RS on paper, other factors favour the Ford. An Audi RS3 Sportback starts from £40,795 that is over £10,000 more than the £29,995 asking price for the RS. Also the Focus does boast a “Drift Mode” developed with the help of Ken Block which enables a good dose of sideways action.
The Audi RS3 is faster in a straight line, but is it faster around a track? It won’t be long until the world finds out.