Ford Focus RS

Ford has announced that its new Focus RS is on sale now – with prices starting at £28,940 for the 350hp hot hatch.

That makes it around £1,000 cheaper than the Honda Civic Type R, and more than £2,000 less than the Volkswagen Golf R.

At the same time, Ford has revealed the new Focus RS will hit 62mph in 4.7 seconds and is good for a top speed of 165mph.

The Focus RS is able to achieve such an impressive acceleration time with the help of its four-wheel-drive system and launch control, which tweaks the dampers, maintains maximum torque through the Ford’s overboost function and uses torque vectoring to split power between all four wheels.

The much-hyped new Honda Civic Type-R takes 5.7 seconds to cover the same ground, while the four-wheel-drive Volkswagen Golf R hits 62mph in 5.3 seconds.

Focus RS chief program engineer Jürgen Gagstatter said: “The all-new Focus RS delivers stunning performance and innovative technology at a price that will make both our customers and premium automakers look twice. After experiencing the acceleration and cornering capability of the Focus RS, drivers will question the sense in spending almost £10,000 more on a premium competitor.”

Here, Gagstatter is taking a dig at the near-£40,000 Audi RS3 – which, also with four-wheel-drive, takes just 4.3 seconds to reach 62mph.

Orders are now being taken for the Focus RS, with deliveries starting across Europe early in 2016.