After a day out with a 2017 Honda Civic Type R and a 2016 Ford Focus RS, it came down to this: “If someone handed we a keys to either, that one would we take?”
This is not “The Matrix” and these combatants are not pills. They are a many expected sports cars on a marketplace and have never been sole in a U.S. during a same time. Until now. Both are affordable; both are a blast to drive; both came in blue.
Both have 5 doors, hulk behind wings and honeyed rowing six-speed primer gearboxes. Yet a Type R and Focus RS are as opposite as they are similar.
The 350-horsepower Focus RS is an all-wheel-drive savage with ill hold and dangerous power. The 306-horsepower Type R is a front-wheel-drive complicated marvel with a shining cessation and poetic highway manners.
Back to a doubt acted by my co-worker and co-driver, Doug George, during a conflict of a outing down a rabbit hole on a cold stormy morning during Autobahn Country Club in Joliet. Doug is an party editor and medium man with a warm, easy smile. During a morning during a track, that laugh was remade into an ear-to-ear grin.
That’s what these cars do: satisfy perma-grin. Here’s how.
“Yeah, pointed these cars are not,” George said.
Especially a Type R. Based on a excellent 10th-generation Civic, a Type R is revoke and wider than a RS. Nearly all a pieces of opening aptitude are functional, unlike a Civic hatch. The medium hood dip sucks cold atmosphere and pushes prohibited atmosphere down and out; a front splitter reduces atmosphere underneath a physique and a side skirts revoke lift so there’s copiousness of downforce to keep a automobile planted during high speeds, including a tip speed of 170 mph, according to Car and Driver.
But, according to one editor, a behind finish has a face of a Stormtrooper. The vast behind wing, along with a spoiler underneath a wing and another spoiler above (Honda calls it a spiral generator), all emanate downforce to keep a behind down and revoke drag. All these aero elements make it demeanour like something out of “Fast Furious.”
“It’s totally boy-racer all a way,” George said. “Hey Honda, Boeing called and wants a wing back.”
The Rally Sport is, by comparison, some-more medium even in baby blue “Nitrous Blue.” The RS feels and looks some-more unified, stoical and mature. The third-generation RS has a identical splitter adult front yet a some-more ominous face with a black RS mustache bursting a grille. Its wing is braced off a roof, during a tip of a lift gate.
Better pill: RS
The motorist of possibly will not be unhappy on a track. “These are both startling cars,” George said.
But vigilant is nine-tenths of a pull and a RS is done to be tracked.
With a mutated EcoBoost 2.3-liter twin-scroll turbocharged four-cylinder engine with a parsimonious six-speed primer promulgation energy to all wheels, a RS is a improved lane car. “The additional energy seemed to come on progressing and stay some-more flexible in a center of a tough corner,” George pronounced about a RS. Acceleration is improved due to a mix of some-more energy (350 horsepower) and some-more torque (350 pound-feet) even yet full torque comes after than a Type R during 3,200 rpm.
The Type R creates 295-pound feet during about 2,500 rpm. At that point, a Type R slingshots forward; before that point, it’s not as manageable as a RS.
The brief throws of a RS gearbox get to a honeyed mark some-more fast and there’s a hack automobile rumble to a soundtrack that sounds many larger than a mutated four-cylinder engine. Both sticks felt great, with cold aluminum knobs and brief rowing; a Type R felt notchier; a purchase pedal of a RS had larger feedback.
The steering circle in a RS is also smaller, and feels some-more connected to a road. The smallest motions broach accurate results. It’s reduction forgiving than a Type R, so pointing is paramount.
“The many thespian ‘wow’ impulse of removing behind a circle was a steering in both these cars, that felt like a approach tie to a tires, like you’re holding a whole automobile in a palm of your hands,” George pronounced afterward.
This extends to a all-wheel-drive doing of a RS, permitting it to strike turns harder and stay parsimonious during aloft speeds, and we can building it out of a peak with some-more confidence, interjection also to a grippier Pilot Super Sport Cup 2S tires.
Yet Honda has unequivocally worked sorcery over a singular outing differential in scarcely expelling torque steer. With some-more weight adult front, it was roughly easier to slip a finish by turns in a Type R. It was a pointed disproportion that had a bit some-more disturb given we was being worked some-more as a driver.
Also surprising, amid a autumnal smell of roasting tires and cooking brakes, was a beginning pointer of stop blur on a Type R, that during 3,111 pounds, weighs significantly reduction than a 3,434-pound RS. Ford’s guarantee of a many absolute brakes ever on a Focus valid good on a lane yet a RS burnt by a lot some-more fuel.
Better pill: RS, yet my co-worker disagreed.
“Honda was only some-more fun to drive,” he said. “The primer six-speed felt lots better, and altogether a automobile felt lighter on a feet, some-more flexible and some-more fervent to go go go.”
We didn’t remonstrate here: a Type R is a definite complicated vehicle. With CO fiber trim elements and soft-touch materials, it has a demeanour and feel of a pricier ride.
Honda’s hold shade is clunky, generally given it houses a meridian control settings, and a surplus steering controls to entrance a automobile info in a instrument cluster are confusing, yet it’s improved than Ford’s Sync3 and a slight hold screen.
The RS feels like a 10-year-old car; my 10-year aged asked if a gauges for oil and temp on a tip of a lurch were stickers.
Some people competence cite a old-school feel of a RS, yet for scarcely $7,000 some-more (20 percent!), it felt like a imitation in a quadruped amenities department.
The RS, with a dual check settings and rib-hugging Recaro seats, was many stiffer on a highway in normal mode. This is not a automobile for a highway trip. Adaptive damping in a Type R supposing many some-more condition-appropriate float feel. It’s also wider and some-more spacious.
Doug, who is 4 inches taller during 6-foot-1, hated a seats in both. “These things would have masochists contracting their protected word,” he said.
Better pill: Type R