The Subaru BRZ has taken on all comers in the sub-$30,000 sporty car field, and in its latest bout with the 2013 Ford Focus ST, the boxer-powered coupe again emerged victorious. Still, the Focus ST’s ability to keep pace with a rear-drive sports car was impressive. Though the two cars are as different from one another as can be, both are worthy enthusiast machines. If it were your money, which budget sporty car would you choose?
The 2013 Ford Focus ST has the horsepower advantage, producing 252 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque from its turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4. That power is transmitted to the front wheels, which naturally results in a significant amount of torque steer. Helping to correct that problem is the brake-based torque-vectoring control system, which reduces understeer when driving aggressively. In contrast, the 2013 Subaru BRZ’s lightweight, rear-drive chassis helps explain its natural handling prowess. Though it makes significantly less power at 200 hp and 151 lb-ft from its 2.0-liter flat-4, the boxer engine’s low center of gravity and mid-ship placement in the chassis give the car unrivaled balance.
In our tests, the BRZ accelerated from 0-60 mph in 6.4 seconds, while the Focus ST was able to reach the same speed in 5.9 seconds. The Focus ST was unsurprisingly also quicker in the quarter-mile, posting a 14.6-second time at 95.9 mph versus the BRZ’s 15.0 seconds at 93.0 mph. At the track, with pro racer Randy Pobst behind the wheel, the two cars were a second apart at 01:29:27 for the Focus ST, and 01:30:32 for the BRZ.
So would you choose Ford’s turbocharged four-door hot hatch or Subaru’s two-door rear-drive coupe? Tell us in the poll and comments below.