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Ford Focus RS - S3 rival???

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by MacrosTheBlack, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. MacrosTheBlack
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    MacrosTheBlack Member

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    Just seen this link on msn car news....

    http://cars.uk.msn.com/News/car_news_article.aspx?cp-documentid=8573084

    280bhp and front wheel drive!?!? Are they mad!?!?! Surely that kind of power to the front's going to cause the kind of torque steer that will snap a few wrists. Can't believe they haven't gone for 4WD like the old Escort Cosworth....

    I don't want to be out accelerated by a Focus in the near future! :sob:
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  3. markwiggy
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    markwiggy Third Gear

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    Can't see that happening, would imagine it will have dificulty getting the power down, especially in the wet. I had a Civic type R and it was totally useless in the wet.

    Mark
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  4. Eeef
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    Eeef Lord of War

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    Clarkson did a test in an Alfa GTA which had 240bhp (i think) and fwd. It torque steered like a bitch, and understeered worse.
    #3
  5. wolfbane1967
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    wolfbane1967 Member

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    I had 333hp in my old GTI Edition 30,and it was no problem.But offcourse some wheelspin in wet conditions,but not much torque steer.

    I think they will use quife diff on the new RS
    #4
  6. S3IZZO
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    S3IZZO Guest

    [Jun 13, 2008]
    The 147 GTA has no fancy diff and a big heavy 3.2 V6 in the front which is why it wasn't the best handling car in the world.

    They are awesome to look at, the Ford on the other hand does absolutely nothing at all for me - none of them ever have since the RS200.
    #5
  7. Iggu
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    Iggu Active Member

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    The Astra VXR has 240bhp through the front wheels and is SLOWER (round a track) than a Mk V standard Golf GTi with 197bhp.

    No matter what they do with the diff, tyre technology still cannot cope effectively with more than 200bhp through the front wheels.

    I don't think you ahve anything to fear from this. Don't most Focus ST drivers chip up their Focus STs to 300bhp anyway ? And they're no problem for the S3.
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  8. phantom
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    phantom On Boost

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    I had the MK 2 Cupra for a month ( sold it to get the S3 ) 240-260bhp Std going through the fronts and even brand new tyres couldn't stop it from spinning , and the crash , bang , wallop , of the T/C ESP cutting in.

    The RS will tune to the same as the S3 on Std internals , just wait till it's wet or COLLECT it coming off a round a bout Lol

    p
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  9. bacardi
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    bacardi Active Member

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    Not strictly true

    its all a question of power/vs load

    If you're doing 100mph, tyres could cope with well over 200 BHP

    Pulling off the line is a different matter, however things such as suspension geometry, LSD's and TC, plus torque limiting in 1st and second gears can all help with this, there is no set rule for how much power a FWD car can handle
    #8
  10. arthurfuxake
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    arthurfuxake Controversial & Contradictive

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    LSC's TC's and torque limiting means that from standstill, the BHP will be cut to like 200bhp, whereas with 4wd there is not much need for the TC to cut power, so ALL the bhp is used, so 4wd will be quicker off the line, and quicker out of a bend. But, once rolling, the higher bhp will come into it's own despite being thru the front wheels only.
    #9
  11. Teejay
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    Teejay Mellow Yellow

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    guess nobody here gets Performance VW magazine then???

    couple of months ago they did a group thrash between a Golf GTi Edition 30, Seat Leon Cupra and Audi S3, all in standard guise.

    The Golf was the slowest in a straight line; from start and in gear.
    The Leon was marginally (and I mean 0.1 secs) slower than the S3 in a straight line.

    The real shock was round a 'circuit' where the Golf was loads slower, but there was nothing between the FWD Leon with 240bhp and the 4WD S3 with 265bhp.

    Their summary was that they wouldn't buy the golf, it wasn't quick enough, didn't feel nimble and was quite basic inside. The Leon was the most fun and easily as quick (in the dry), but was let down by a 'constructed on a budget' interior which was nice to look at and comfortable, but just felt like it would fall to bits over time. They said the S3 felt safe & secure and was a generally nicer place to be.
    #10
  12. bacardi
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    bacardi Active Member

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    so a 240bhp FWD car kept up with a 265bhp 4WD one then, blows that myth out of the water?
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  13. phantom
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    phantom On Boost

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    The lad who's S3 it was is on here.

    He was running 19's , the Leon was a " press car " with a fancy body kit on it , the Cupra owners are MAD for the kit , but you just can't buy it .

    Also the S3 is remaped , but put back to stock , Revos stock map IE 261bhp , we all know thses cars make more than book figures.

    So the Cupra would be putting out up to 260bhp while the S3 was bang on 261bhp .

    I'd take that test with a LARGE pinch of salt , that said the Cupra is a great car , ive owned one and i sould it for something better and faster.....a S3 :)

    p
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  14. bacardi
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    bacardi Active Member

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    Fair comment

    However the fact that a FWD car with 260+BHP manages to put that down on the tarmac means that a focus with 280 could manage it too
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  15. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    Why does it? The Focus has a heavier engine in a longer car with more power, it's not a simple comparison.
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  16. Stuno1
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    Stuno1 Member

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    You can guaranteedue to the 'RS' badge it will have a similar price tag as the 'S3'm again due to the badge, performance??? All depends on what technology goes in to the car. There is a guy running a 3 MPS at 330BHP (Front wheel drive) and the torque is not only limited in 1st and 2nd but also depending on the degeree of the steering wheel. So in the dry these cars can lay down the power with relatively little torque steer. The suspension set up in the MPS with the eibach springs and dampers (standard) also means it handles well on the tracks. It will definately be interesting to see how it handles the power.

    Personally i feel the s3 is over priced and i believe the ford will be as well. However if i had a choice between the 2 (Not knowing fully RS performance and spec) I imagine it would be S3 every time.
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  17. bacardi
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    bacardi Active Member

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    no, of course not

    however a statement such as "tyre technology still cannot cope effectively with more than 200bhp through the front wheels" is not true, as clearly in this case, it can
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  18. buckas
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    buckas Member

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    lol yeh, and left a bigger smoke trail than buncefield
    #17
  19. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    Come off it, Clarkson drove that GTA like a complete ****.
    He went piling into the corner, inducing the understeer.
    Then he just planted the foot, for effect.
    All the time, he's on overheating road tyres in racetrack conditions.
    I bet it's nowhere near that bad in real life.
    Who the hell goes piling into a corner so fast as to induce terminal understeer, then just plants the foot?
    A joyrider in an Asda carpark, maybe.
    Most of us on here, I would hope, would have some sort of throttle control, which is half the fun of sporty driving, after all.:racer:
    #18
  20. PaulAr
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    PaulAr S3 (8P)

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    Yes, FWD cars with circa 250bhp are very capable in dry conditions, I had one, so I know first hand.

    What no one has mentioned is that 1 day in every 3 in the UK, its rains! (Met Office stats).

    Has anyone tried to put that sort of power down through the front wheels on a wet/damp road/track....???

    This is where the S3 shines in comparision to FWD hatches.
    #19
  21. Iggu
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    Iggu Active Member

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    Maybe "cannot cope" was overstating it - but Audi themselves appear to believe (like many other commentators and companies) that 200bhp is the optimum power for FWD - the FWD TT was "capped" at 200bhp but as soon as TT-S / 3.2 / S3 models come along with more power they put quattro in it to effectively utilise it. My workmate had his Leon FR chipped up to 261bhp (same as S3) and it was virtually undriveable as the front tyres scrabbled for grip at any sort of oomph level.

    evo tested an S3 against the Cupra in "The Knowledge" section - I'm sure the S3 was quicker but can't remember by how much.
    #20
  22. bacardi
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    bacardi Active Member

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    Clearly - I've owned AWD cars, 4WD cars, RWD and FWD, those that drive all wheels get power down in the wet far easier, I've never said/believed otherwise
    #21
  23. bacardi
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    bacardi Active Member

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    Again, its down to how that power is delivered, if your colleague wellies it from a standing start then yes, i agree, however if he blends the throttle and it does it, either his tyres are fubar'd or his car is.
    #22
  24. rodenal
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    rodenal Active Member

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    It's genuinely nothing like as bad as clarkson made out if you have any concept of thorttle control.Its also beautiful to look at but as it's an alfa i'd always be scared to own one - through nothing but superstitous fear!
    #23
  25. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    Yeah, if you want to make efficient, undramatic, progress.
    There's more to driving than that though.
    There's fun to be had from driving a FWD/RWD car quickly in the wet.
    God knows electronics are taking all the skill away from driving as it is.
    4WD holds no interest to me at all, unless it's snowing.
    #24
  26. Iggu
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    Iggu Active Member

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    RWD is unmatchable for thrills. 4WD drifts can bu fun but hard to pull off (impossible on the road). FWD the dullest of allin my (perhaps tainted) experience.
    #25
  27. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    It can be, for sure.
    My A3 refused to get it's tail out, no matter what you did.
    You could lift off halfway around a corner, etc.etc.
    The rear just stuck resolutely to the road.
    I've had other FWD cars that would turn to oversteer quite easily though, although it was a good few years ago, admittedly (Rover 220Gti and Cavalier Sri).
    I'm really enjoying RWD though, with the TC off.
    #26
  28. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [Jun 13, 2008]

    When you say Audi appear to believe that 200bhp is the optimum power do you mean that their target audiance is a more mature driver? Where as VW, Seat, The VXR brand is probably aimed at a different audiance altogether?

    J.
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  29. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    My old Gti T was running well over 200bhp and I drove it for 50K miles come rain or shine. Didn;t have any issues with getting the power down. If it rained I just didn't drop the clutch at 3K to pull away... :)

    I've had one of the VAG AWD drive cars and went back to a FWD, did I miss the additioanl traction? Not really. In the traffic light grand prix it was useful but in every day driving it didn;t really make a whole lot of difference.

    J.
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  30. Teejay
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    Teejay Mellow Yellow

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    My previous car was a 2.0 Astra, once I'd fitted a rear ARB (it doesn't have one as standard) then it was perfectly capable of oversteer and understeer - depending how you drive - which is the perfect balanced car if you ask me!

    Saying that FWD is dull is a misinformed statement, based purely on the fact that most standard FWD cars are purposely set up to understeer because most standard drivers can't control oversteer! A properly balanced FWD is immense fun - hence why the Mini Cooper S and Honda Integra have both won the Evo drivers car of the year award, ahead of Porkers, Ferraris, Lambo's, Beemers, Evo's and Scoobies.

    4WD is the automotive equivalent of the idiots guide to driving fast - easy with no ability whatsoever.
    #29
  31. Teejay
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    Teejay Mellow Yellow

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    yeah, the RS range, R8 and new Clubsport concepts definitely prove that!!:noway:
    #30
  32. buckas
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    buckas Member

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    :thumbsup:think the worst one they had on top gear was that new vectra vxr - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyyMX6ROoCI
    #31
  33. bacardi
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    bacardi Active Member

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    amen to that

    I once had a lovely 4WD drift in my subaru on the A1/M25 roundabout

    turned out to be assisted by somewhat of a flat tyre but even so, it was entertaining, if a little scary
    #32
  34. phantom
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    phantom On Boost

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    Are you sure on that?

    I live in Manchester it rains every bastard day :)

    Regarding some of the other posts , we all know you can be easy with the throttle on a 200+bhp FWD car and it'll drive fine , but the vibe of the thread is " can the RS and other BIG BHP FWD cars get the power down fully " no , certainly not in a drag race in the wet , and maybe not even in the dry , even from 20-30mph in second gear , floor it , it'll spin , while the S3 will be away.

    p
    #33
  35. Sohrob
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    Sohrob Member

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    I will reserve judgement until i have driven one (i went to place my order and Fords service was that **** i walked away)

    FWD is always going to cause problems in the wet and off the line but in general driving conditions it becomes less of a problem unless the car is being driven like its stolen for tv rating (Top Gear!!!!)

    Take the megane r26 for example, awesome car and can cope with more power. Handles much much better than the s3.

    And whoever said the ep3 was **** in the wet was correct but providing they have the std re040 tyres in the dry they are a quick car and again can handle more power.

    I think the focus rs will be stiff competition.
    #34
  36. Iggu
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    Iggu Active Member

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    I think my next car will be a Beemer for just that reason - unless the new gen S3/RS3 has a truly rear drive bias from the quattro like the R8/RS models. Don't like BMW designs at all (or the image) - but where it matters they know how to do it.
    #35
  37. PaulAr
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    PaulAr S3 (8P)

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    Im sure, however road conditions hadnt been mentioned at all in the thread thus far and its a major consideration when making comparisons between similar powered cars with different driven wheels.
    #36
  38. SteveTDCi
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    SteveTDCi Active Member

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    Isn't the R26 quicker than the S3 on a track, looking at autocar figures that is. I'm sure the Focus RS will be a great car and i would pick one over an S3, it'll be more exclusive and no doubt a better car.
    #37
  39. mcc49
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    mcc49 Stalled

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    The RS will have an electronic LSD which will limit and adjust power on the fly to keep the front wheels from spinning and torque steering. Thats why Ford is saying anyway, how well it works we dont know.

    We dont know whether it ll be a better car till it gets tested but I doubt it ll be more exclusive? The old RS had limited production because it was sold as a loss leader product to shift more Focus's, however Ford already stated that the new RS will be mass produced and wont be in anyway limited.

    So a better car? Maybe, but more exclusive? Doubt it
    #38
  40. newbiecrg
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    newbiecrg windsurfer

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    EVO which I rate a lot more than Autocar has the S3 has the fastest hatch on a circuit.... Not that it is important but its their testing...

    Pedro
    #39
  41. PaulAr
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    PaulAr S3 (8P)

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    [Jun 13, 2008]
    Dont get me wrong it wasnt a `problem` the car was excellent fun.

    I was running REVO phase 1 which was quite aggressive, the tyres were OEM Bridgestones and on anything other than a dry road with the wheels pointing forward, you had masses of wheelspin on 1st, 2nd and 3rd (to a lesser degree).
    And thats without any clutch abuse.

    Fun? Yes...Traction? Nope

    My point as that you simply cant get 250bhp down onto the road in a FWD car like you can in a 250bhp 4wd car. And the difference is massive in wet conditions. But we know that already.

    Everyday driving, I agree you dont need 4wd, spirited all weather driving, well thats different.


    cheers
    Paul
    #40

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