The Ford Focus RS is what could be called a mega-hatch. It’s gone beyond the everyday hot hatch, and strayed into the white-eyed levels of performance and handling capability normally reserved for out and out sports cars.
A turbocharged 2.3-litre petrol engine punches out 345bhp, which is sent via a six-speed manual gearbox and through a clever, active four-wheel drive system, giving the RS a rampant sub 5.0sec 0-62mph time.
To find out just how well this fast Ford competes with those rivals, read on over the next few pages. We'll give you our in depth impressions.