Ford Authority

Chevrolet Camaro SS Barely Faster Than The Ford Focus RS: Video

By now, it’s well understood that the outdated notion that “there’s no replacement for displacement” is false. The turbocharged, 2.3-liter four-cylinder that powers the Mk. III Ford Focus RS makes 350 horsepower – more than the Mustang GT made a decade ago with twice the cylinders, and twice the displacement.

Of course, while turbocharged small engines have become more advanced, so have normally-aspirated V8s. The 6.2-liter LT1 in the current Chevrolet Camaro SS, for instance, produces a commendable 455 horsepower, despite its rather antiquated pushrod valvetrain.

But ultimately, which car is faster around a track: the Ford Focus RS, or the Chevrolet Camaro SS? Motorsport Magazine tested the Focus RS last October on the Magny-Cours Club test track. This month, it was the turn of the Camaro.

We won’t try to build drama, or tell you to “watch for yourself and find out.” The Camaro wins. However, the gap in the two cars’ lap times is incredibly slim, the Focus RS achieving a time of 1 minute, 24.58 seconds, while the Camaro SS drives the same course in 1 minute, 24.50 seconds. Less than one-tenth of a second separates the two sportscars.

Not too shabby, four-cylinder.

You can watch the Camaro SS’ full lap in the video above, and the Focus RS’ lap is embedded below.

Aaron Brzozowski is a writer and motoring enthusiast from Detroit with an affinity for '80s German steel. He is not active on the Twitter these days, but you may send him a courier pigeon.

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  1. ChrisG23

    While the FoRS is a spectacular car, your test is irrelevant. First, that is a tiny track. The SS would post much better times vs the FoRS on a larger track. Second, the gap would be much wider had you fitted the spectacular Michelin sport cup 2 tires to the Camaro, you know, the tires on the FoRS you timed… And Third, your commentary on the ‘no replacement for displacement’ argument shows you have no understanding of the concept. Yes, you can add a turbo to a small engine to make it as powerful as a large engine. But you can also fit a turbo to the larger engine, and achieve hp numbers unattainable to the small engine. That’s why there are no 4 cylinder top fuel funny cars.
    Funny how you didn’t mention the Mustang GT in this comparison, as it was slower than the FoRS it would have better made your argument. Your lack of impartiality is duly noted. -Chris

    1. Michael Fornetti

      F1 cars are small displacement and make incredible horsepower.

    2. Crinosil

      Throw some rain or loose dirt on to the track and lets see what happens to the SS vs the RS…. point being you can find conditions that favor either car… in these very similar conditions the RS was only .08 seconds slower… close enough that with a different driver it could have been the reverse …. that’s impressive.

  2. Michael Fornetti

    Based on the steering input this magazine needs a much better driver.
    Smooth is always faster.

    1. John Hess

      It aint The Stig driving


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