Test Results by AutoBild, Germany's leading motoring magazine - TECHNICAL DATA / IMAGE RESOURCES

Besides this visual impressions, also the sound should be appropriated to a sports cars optical appearance and at this discipline the first difference between the Ford and the VW comes clear. The Volkswagen sounds, in contrast to its styling, loud and aggressive whilst the Focus is as unobtrusive as expected of a family car. The German motoring magazine AutoBild describes the sounds of the Golf as those of a noisy race car and those of the Ford, because of its turbocharger, as one of a vacuum cleaner. This is an all too low-down circumscription for the quiet RS, after all some people love the whistling noise of a turbo. Finally it's just a question of taste too, unless your wife insist to be not drown out while she is criticising you at car driving.

Right from the starting shot, the Focus surprises with unexpected acceleration results. From 0 to 100km/h [63mph] it runs in 6.7sec needing merely 0.3 sec more than the Golf requires to reach this speed and, sensationally it comes even closer to the Golf when accelerating to 130km/h. That's hard to believe. The VW doesn't benefit from its power plus as much as it should do. But pure acceleration is not everything and the Golf's six pot engine should blow the turbocharged four cylinder Ford away at the flexibility test. After all the R32 has a displacement advantage of over one whole litre. As experience taught displacement is not displaceable except by even more displacement!

But the Golf teaches us that the contrary is also true. In top gear it needs 0.4 sec more than the Focus to 120 from 80km/h. That this is finally a matter of gear ratio shows the comparison from 60 to 100 km/h in fourth gear. At this discipline the R32 beats the RS clearly. Volkswagen obviously consider a cruising gear necessary which has caused the Golf looking old against the Focus, beyond its real engine's flexibility.

TECHNICAL DATA (engine, performance specs, price)

Ok, life isn't a straight line and AutoBild has tested both on the race track. Another chance for the Golf. Normally the result is predictable to adepts when a four wheel drive and a front wheel drive car of equal power compete on the track. Not in this case, not in this test, to anyone's surprise? The 4WD Golf was defeated by the front drive Focus. Oh god! AutoBild's editors, and accordingly test drivers, say that the Ford has the more well-balanced and compliant chassis contrary to the slight understeering Golf. And the power of it? Doesn't the VW profit from its better acceleration at lower speed? No chance! This is, as generally known, also a question of the track's structure. The RS corners faster than the R32 which is finally the decisive advantage to it on the curvy Contidrom, the famous test track of the German tire maker Continental. Maybe the Golf would be ahead on the Formula 1 course in Monza (Italy) that has many long straights but on the winding Contidrom the VW met its Waterloo. A propos water, on wet road surfaces the Golf would certainly profit from its four wheel drive but the test conditions didn't allow, bad luck for VW.

On the other hand fast lap times aren't solely a result of acceleration and aerodynamics but also one of deceleration. At this field the situation is similar to the previous ones. The Ford brakes better when its discs are cold whereas the Golf beats the Focus with warm discs. And, also in this discipline the Ford has achieved the lead because over one metre less braking distance, says 35.7m, is not only a fabulous rate but also a great victory over the Golf that just cannot equalize needing merely 10cm less to stop with warm brakes. All in all both have great, the Golf absolute fade-free, brakes. Take a closer look to the table, these are true sports car's results.

TEST RESULTS (accelaration, flexibility, braking distances)

The winner is, completely surprisingly, the Golf in AutoBild. But the German magazine has not only assessed pace and driving manners but also convenience which is not important at such cars to us and certainly not to most of the prospects. Although we usually don't choose winners and losers we state this time that the Focus comes off as winner and the Golf is just second best. Its seeming technological superiority only exists in brochure which the test has turned out clearly. Sorry VW, over 1 Litre more displacement and 1 gear more, in addition to four wheel drive and the higher price, should be enough to traumatise the Ford, not to keep a short lead at acceleration, to say nothing of its lap times.

That we, means the FAST-ZI-NATION team, mainly prefer Volkswagen is one thing, the great job which the Ford engineers have done is another and this should be appreciated. Ja!, The Golf is really a nice car, an irresistible temptation but the Focus is, despite its quiet vacuum cleaner sound, the greater sports car in the end - unless you can't drive it as one because your wife is going to continue to criticise your driving style.



Do you like to argue about which one is the better sports car, the better car in general or any other controversial car related topics?: www.carforums.net

Image resources:  www.supercarsite.net [ Focus RS & Golf R32 click: car list]
www.germancarfans.com [Golf R32 click: photos ]
www.rsportscars.com [Focus RS click: Make: Ford]
www.autobild.de [in German only]


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