They are both iconic hot hatchbacks with plenty of heritage behind them. The modern-day incarnations of Civic Type R and Focus RS have enthusiasts foaming at the mouth for their fix of ASBO inducing fun. We have extensively road tested the new Type R and have recently got up close and personal with the finished RS. Whilst driving impressions of the Ford will have to wait a little bit longer, it has been requested in the comments that we do a comparison video that covers a few key points such as specification, price, and expectations.
Let’s kick off with the numbers… The Honda Civic Type R is powered by 2.0 litre turbocharged VTEC engine that produces 306BHP as well as 295lb ft of torque. That performance potential is then channeled to the front wheels via a slick six-speed manual transmission and a very effective differential. Whilst that is a lot of power for just the front wheels to deal with, Honda engineers have really worked their magic almost eliminating torque steer and keeping understeer to minimum thanks to torque vectoring and a set of very sticky bespoke continental tyres. 0-62MPH takes just 5.7 seconds and it will go onto a top speed of 167MPH.
As for the Ford Focus RS, power is supplied by a 2.3 litre turbocharged EcoBoost unit that churns out 345BHP and 324b ft of torque. However, an overboost function allows for 347lb ft for 15 seconds. The RS is all-wheel-drive and also features a six speed-manual. 0-62MPH takes 4.7 seconds, a whole second faster than the Type R, but it does have a slightly lower top speed of 165MPH. Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres can be optioned on this car.
The Ford Focus RS is clearly the faster car on paper, but the Type R does have a weight advantage of 1,378KG against the 1,599KG of the RS. All-wheel-drive is clearly an advantage, but it does have a weight penalty. The Civic has already proven itself to be faster than much more powerful cars, such as the BMW M3, on technical circuits. Type R VS RS is certainly going to be an interesting David VS Goliath track battle.
Both cars have a hidden talents. The Focus possesses a drift mode to allow for some sideways action, whilst the Civic has a +R button that applies a hardcore setup to its adjustable dampers and changes the engine mapping to be ideal for track use.
Visually you either love or hate the Honda Civic Type R, but that aero bodywork you see is functional in terms of downforce and stability at speed. The Ford Focus RS is much more subtle but unlike the Honda, it has to appeal to a broader audience as it is a global car and so can’t afford to be quite so opinion splitting.
Price is a big factor for the people actually looking to buy these cars and it must be said that Ford has got their maths right here. Currently set to cost £29,995 the Focus RS is excellent value for the performance on offer. That is exactly the same price tag the Civic Type R has.
We are just as excited as you to see these two cars go head to head. One thing is for sure, it is a great time time to be a fan for fast hatchbacks.