The Ford Focus RS and Volkswagen Golf R are two of the most powerful (and expensive) hot hatches on the market today. But that may be just about the only things they have in common. On the latest episode of "Head 2 Head," hosts Jason Cammisa and Jonny Lieberman set out to find which one is more worthy of the "hot hatch" name: the well-mannered VW or its brutish alternative.
Under the hood, the Golf R features a 2.0-liter turbo-four with 292 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. Although slightly heavier, our Focus RS tester packs 350 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque from its 2.3-liter turbocharged inline-four.
One of the Golf's greatest assets is its ride quality. Cammisa, although admitting to be a VW fanboy, declares it "drives like an AMG S-Class." According to Lieberman, "It's brilliant, however it's brilliant to a bunch of engineers."
Meanwhile, the Focus RS offers up a much more visceral driving experience. Despite its harsh, noisy ride, it benefits from more power, more personality, and a torque-vectoring differential. "This is about as good as a front-wheel-drive-based car can get in terms of steering," says Lieberman.
Check out the video below to find out which hatch was crowned the winner.