The Ford Focus RS could arguably be called a mega hatch. It goes beyond the everyday hot hatch remit, straying into the white-eyed levels of performance and handling thrills usually reserved for out-and-out sports cars.
The 2.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine pumps out a whopping 345bhp and feeds it to all four wheels to keep things manageable. 0-60mph takes less than 5.0sec, making this range-topping Focus a rival for similarly priced hot hatches, such as the BMW M140i and Honda Civic Type R. In fact, the Focus RS isn't that much slower than the world's fastest hot hatchbacks, the Audi RS3 and Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG.
However, great hot hatches need to be more than just straight-line drag racers. They need to be capable and rewarding through the corners. So how does the Focus RS compare with its rivals in the handling stakes? And what's it like to live with on a daily basis? Read on over the next few pages to find out.