Can The Blue Oval Bad Boy Dethrone The Hot Hatch King?
About three years ago to the day, fellow Senior Editor Seyth Miersma and I ? during our respective tenures as editors at Winding Road ? met on a cold, wet autumn morning to put the then-new sixth-generation Volkswagen GTI up against a slew of hot hatches for a comparison test cover story. Miersma and I share a love for this type of car, simply because they're affordable little runabouts that don't skimp on functionality while being hysterically fun to toss about. Actually, you'd be hard pressed to find a single member of the automotive media that doesn't hold at least one of these little rascals close to their heart.
The hot hatch hierarchy has long been capped with the GTI as king, and for good reason. Of all the vehicles offered in the segment, it has perhaps the best blend of the many facets we love about these cars, and it's the one that we'd absolutely open our wallets for year after year, generation after generation. So when a new kid comes to town, it doesn't completely matter how it stacks up against other competitors in the segment ? if you want to dethrone the king, you have to beat the GTI at the very game it created.
If you want to dethrone the king, you have to beat the GTI at the very game it created.
Enter the 2013 Ford Focus ST, a car that Ford says will run circles around every other hot hatch available in the United States. The Blue Oval is out for blood with this one, and for good reason. After our first experience with the car overseas, we must admit, it's damn good.
So on yet another cold autumn morning, I found myself sitting behind the wheel of the brand-new Focus ST, following Miersma in the GTI out to the same roads we've flogged hot hatches