Photo of the Ford Focus RS.
Take a Spin: The Ford Focus RS’s engine spins up turbocharged torque that tests the tires when the car is in Drift Mode, essentially a controlled, curving skid.
Photo: Ford Motor Co.

Back in the 1980s, when Volkswagen birthed the hot hatchback with the GTI, owners like me thought 110 horsepower was a big deal. Things being what they are today, we now have the Ford Focus RS, which spins up a borderline-ridiculous 261 kilowatts (350 horsepower) and 475 newton meters (350 foot-pounds) of turbocharged torque from a dinky 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine. That’s more force than you get from many V-8s.

Ford’s little beastie is designed to handle the dirt and snow of rally racing, or your best simulation—including a 447-kW (600-hp) version that superstar racer Ken Block will drive in the FIA Rallycross series.

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