Is the Focus RS more fun than a Nissan GT-R?

Ford Focus RS

Ford Focus RS

Earlier this week, we waxed lyrical about the virtues of hot hatches, and they’re even hotter brothers – the mega hatches.

I drove a Focus RS and a Nissan GT-R back-to-back earlier this year, and as frighteningly quick as the Nissan was, I couldn’t help feeling as though it had too much of everything.

Too much power, too much grip – and most importantly too much techno wiz-bangery.

Contrast that with the Focus. It’s an honest-to-god hatchback with very little clever technology and what there is, is mechanical rather than printed on a circuit board.

It’s a hooligan in every way. Yes, there’s a whiff of torque steer – it’s putting 300bhp through the front wheels – but that adds to the sense you’re actually driving the car, not letting a box of silicone chips do it for you.

But the FRS is just the tip of the iceberg. The Renault Megane is a stonking car on the right road, albeit hugely uncomfortable over long journeys. The Golf R32 was brilliantly refined, but a 3.2-litre beast when you opened the taps (and we’re hopeful for more thuggery from the forthcoming Golf R).

The BMW 135i is the white hot hatch for those seeking more subtle thrills, as is the sublime Audi S3, unless you buy an orange one.

Supercars will always be special – nothing matches them for a sense of drama and occasion – but unless Ferrari build an estate version of the 599, you can’t cram half of Ikea in the boot. Taking the recycling to the tip? Forget it. Run your mum to the shops? No chance.

The mega hatch is all about no-compromise motoring. They’re supercars, shopping cars, vans and people carriers all rolled into one.

Stuart Milne


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