VW Golf R vs Ford Focus RS
VW’s potent new R is the quickest Golf ever. Can it outmuscle Ford’s wild-at-heart Focus RS?
When Volkswagen launched the first Golf GTI in 1976, its 110bhp engine was more than enough to keep pace with its competitors. Fast forward 34 years, and VW’s flagship Golf now boasts more than twice that power, and no longer wears the GTI badge – the letter R now signifies the quickest production Golf ever.
With 266bhp and four-wheel drive, the subtle R aims to provide devastating all-weather performance in a practical shell. It’s available as a three or five-door, and with a six-speed gearbox in manual or twin-clutch DSG form.
Its rival here, the 301bhp Ford Focus RS, is less of a shrinking violet. The rally-inspired hatch is adorned with spoilers, scoops, huge exhausts and a muscular bodykit.
And while some buyers will be put off by its bold lines, there can be no argument about the performance on offer. The Golf and Focus are the Jekyll and Hyde of the hot hatch sector, but which one will come out on top here?