How Can a Ford and a Honda Beat a BMW?

There are many different models on the road today and the fun of taking some to the track for driving comparison will give you a joy. Have you ever thought you’d see a time when a Honda and a Ford could beat a BMW around a track? You might point to the high priced and high-performance models from the brands to prove that it’s not such an oddity, but I’m actually talking about cars on the other end of the spectrum. When you take the right model of the Ford Focus and Honda Civic you can drive faster than the BMW M1 because of what the others offer.

Looking at these three cars to see what performance specs they bring to the test we see the BMW 140i is an RWD hot hatch that uses a turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine that produces 320 horsepower while the Ford Focus RS offers us a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder setup that produces 350 horsepower and uses AWD. The Honda Civic Type R is left as the lowest power number using a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 306 horsepower and is set up with FWD. All three of these cars were fit with their manual transmissions to give the most impressive track performance.

As you can plainly see this is a test of FWD versus AWD versus RWD but also a test of the power quotient of each one. There are strengths and weaknesses to all three of these cars during the track test that allowed each one to be driven by the same driver around the track four times to create the best track performance for each one. These three were also put to the test with a drag race to see where they would end up.

Unfortunately for the testing, the track was wet, but that didn’t keep the cars from making the run around the course to create the top lap for each one of these hot hatches. When it came to the four laps around the course the BMW was actually the slowest. Even though it comes with the highest price the BMW didn’t have the grip of the other two and even spun out during one of the laps around the course. This wasn’t the test that put the BMW model in the best position to perform.

As for the other two cars, the Honda Civic Type R was impressive around the track and provided the quickness and grip on the front end that made it much faster than the BMW around a track full of twists and turns. The Ford Focus RS was the perfect balance of power and grip with the AWD that never let up this car offered the one thing the others didn’t; an aggressive and planted take off right from the start to make it a car that’s perfect for the drive and offers the impressive performance we’ve come to expect from the Focus RS.

Heading to the drag race the BMW was able to outrace the Civic Type R. The power advantage was simply too much for the Honda to overcome. As the BMW took on the Ford the Focus clearly was the stronger performer, making it the overall champion.

For these three cars it seems the most fun to drive with the right balance of power was the Ford Focus RS, but the Honda Civic Type R wasn’t far behind at all and makes for an easy to love to ride on the track and on the roads. The BMW is one that certainly has the name and can give you a great ride but, as you can see in this video from Car Throttle, is more out of control than the other two in nearly every way.

03.06.17 - Ford Focus RS

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