The Hot Hatch Choice

10.19.16 - 2016 Volkswagen Golf R

We’ve seen many automakers working to have some outstanding performance come from their smaller vehicles and that makes perfect sense. While the drive of a 707 horsepower Hellcat sounds like a lot of fun, it’s not very practical at all. Instead, you can choose a hot hatch that will be perfect for your driving needs and give you the ability to know it’s a practical choice to drive on any road and make into your daily driver. Two of the most admired models on the market today are the Ford Focus RS and the Volkswagen Golf R which both offer some amazing performance and the drive you want to enjoy on the road, but which one will be right for you.

Looking at the Golf R the car uses a retuned version of the GT turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. This gives you a full 292 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of torque with this low end grunt being at full force as early as 1,900 rpm. There is some turbo lag, but you won’t notice it much and you can have the fun of the AWD system and be able to enjoy the sprint to sixty mph in this car that only takes 4.9 seconds.

Attached to the engine is a six-speed dual clutch automatic transmission that moves through the gears in quick fashion to give you the drive you want to enjoy. The Golf R offers you the look and feel you’re familiar with on the Golf and has a slightly wider track that the rest of the lineup to allow for more driving enjoyment than you would normally experience in the Golf GTI or other. The AWD system will push half the power to the rear and also make use of brake vectoring to give you the confidence you need to push this car hard on the track.

The Ford Focus RS is to be one of the wildest hot hatches we’ve ever seen and it’s powered by a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that comes from the Mustang Eco Boost. This gives the Focus RS 350 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque giving you a car that’s a lot of fun to drive and full of amazing power for you to have the ride you want. This car also uses a six-speed transmission, but it’s a manual, allowing you to row your own gears in a traditional fashion, which should appeal to the purists out there.

This massive amount of power requires torque vectoring AWD which is present in the Focus RS and is one of the most admired AWD systems of any vehicle. With this car you get to feel the control you want with the manual transmission and short throws that allow you to be as aggressive as you want to be on the road or track.

Which of these two hot hatches is right for you? If you want speed from a small car, both have that for you to enjoy and both are amazing performers, maybe the transmission will be the differentiating factor for you.

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