Courtesy of IEEE: Back in the 1980s, when Volkswagen birthed the hot hatchback with the GTI, owners like me thought 110 horsepower was a big deal. Things being what they are today, we now have the Ford Focus RS, which spins up a borderline-ridiculous 261 kilowatts (350 horsepower) and 475 newton meters (350 foot-pounds) of turbocharged torque from a dinky 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine. That’s more force than you get from many V-8s.
Ford’s little beastie is designed to handle the dirt and snow of rally racing, or your best simulation—including a 447-kW (600-hp) version that superstar racer Ken Block will drive in the FIA Rallycross series.
But my first taste of it comes at the Monticello Motor Club, the devilish 6.6-kilometer road course in New York’s Catskills region.