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Why the BMW M2 you ask? One is a coupe while the other is a hot hatch and they aren’t directly competing in each other’s segment so why would Auto Express try to compare the two on track?

Well that’s because the Focus RS is good enough to take on the BMW M2. First up is the Focus RS, packing a 350 hp turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder with 350 lb-ft of torque and it’s paired with Ford’s new AWD system. Going up against the RS is the M2 coupe with a 365hp turbocharged 3.0-litre straight six engine.

Sure the RS is a few ponies short compared to the M2 but it’s a load of fun to drive thanks to the four wheel drive system with rear wheel drive abilities and the four available drive modes. You can have all the fun of a rear wheel drive car when going into turns without the need to worry about adjusting the steering or balancing the throttle. The AWD system will kick in and pull the car straight once you’re out of a turn. Delivering exceptional braking power are the Brembo brakes that Ford says will last you 30 minutes with hard track use before they fade.

In comparison, the M2 has an extra 15 hp and it has a better 0 to 62mph sprint time of 4.3 seconds which is .4s faster than the RS’ 4.7 seconds. The M2 is also a tad lighter overall and it has the better lap time of 46.7s compared to the Focus RS’ 46.8s but, this doesn’t mean that it’s better. The BMW M2 only has three drive modes, the brakes are effective but they don’t have the same feel as the RS Brembo, and it costs a great deal more than the Focus RS.

Are you surprised by his verdict?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_LCunEbH44
 

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Overall, the Focus RS is the better vehicle for most people. More cargo room, great power and it costs less. Admittedly, I'd like to own a BMW M2 coupe if I could afford one. The interior is most likely decked out in luxurious materials.
 

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What might have some people sway over to BMW's side might be better aftermarket support. BMW's are known for this, then you even have OEM parts from other BMW models that could work although at that point it isn't anything performance related but another customization angle to factor in.
 

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The cost of ownership is another major factor. BMW servicing costs are very high compared to Ford. The RS dealers are generally more down to earth people and are interested in trying to help the owner. I agree that the build quality of the BMW may well be better.
 
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