It is, at this time, unknowable just how many members of the automotive press have fallen in love with the new, Mk III Ford Focus RS, coming away from a road test with the acute urge to buy one.
But of course, there are other hard-hitting contenders in the hot-hatch space. The Mercedes-AMG A 45, for instance, was just updated for 2016, and the Germans have bestowed it with plenty of power – 381 horses’ worth of it, in fact. Like the Focus RS, it also has all-wheel drive, although the Mercedes 4MATIC system is less prone to mischief, with something of a tendency toward understeer.
To see if it was a match for the latest Ford Focus RS, the UK’s Auto Express rounded up one of each for a hot-hatch comparison test. Pricing played into Auto Express‘ decision-making, to the benefit of the Focus RS, which costs roughly £10k less than the Mercedes-AMG. Also helping the Ford was the fact that the car they had on-hand was equipped with a Ford-approved Mountune kit, boosting engine output up to 375 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque.
Curious which hot hatch wins? Watch the video above.