Ford Focus RS Takes on VW Golf R in Battle of the AWD Hot Hatches

The Focus RS should demolish the Golf R in a straight line, but does it?

The all-new Ford Focus RS has been a media darling ever since it debuted at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show with a 345 hp 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive.

And it wasn't just the impressive power that made headlines — the four-wheel drive system was a first for the Focus RS, not to mention the drift mode that has the ability to turn a decent driver into a hooligan.

But VW came up with the same recipe since 2013 for the Golf R, a hot hatch that uses a turbocharged four-cylinder engine as well and a permanent all-wheel-drive system (minus the drift thing). With 296 hp (300 PS) and 380 Nm (280 lb-ft) of torque compared to the Ford’s 345 hp (350 PS) and 440 Nm (324 lb-ft), the Golf R looks like a sure looser in a drag race — on paper, at least.

To find out if that’s the case, the folks from EVO arranged for a good ol’ drag race with the two hot hatches, but not before making sure they were as evenly matched as possible, choosing models fitted with six-speed manual transmissions. The drag race revealed a couple of surprises but we’ll let you discover them by watching the video yourselves.

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