Car and Driver has just gotten through marking down the times posted by some of the hottest makes and models in this year’s Lightning Lap feature – the publication’s twelfth. The resulting collection of hot-lap videos and writeups from the trackside at Virginia International Raceway confirm what we already knew about the new Ford Focus RS: it’s a truly formidable performance machine.
Car and Driver’s Josh Jacquot managed to pilot the 2016 Ford Focus RS through the curves of VIR in an impressive 3:03.9. By comparison, this year’s BMW M2 turned in a lap time of 3:01.9, taking just 2.0 fewer seconds to complete the road course, while the 2016 Audi TTS lagged behind with a time of 3:07.7. The Ford Focus RS’ time is also good enough to put it 1.3 seconds ahead of the 2015 Mustang GT, and a considerable 4.9 seconds ahead of last year’s Alfa Romeo 4C.
What’s more, the Focus RS’ advanced all-wheel drive system means that the car doesn’t ask too much of the driver to accomplish such results. According to C/D, “the most effective driving style… is gratuitous use of the throttle. Put your foot in it. Steer. Let the electronics sort out the rest.” Sounds simple enough.
Be sure to watch the 2016 Ford Focus RS’ full lap of Virginia International Raceway in the hands of Car and Driver above.