What are the criteria for comparing one car against another? Well, basically, they should belong to the same category; have similar performance stats and, perhaps more importantly, be close in price.
The new 2013 Ford Focus ST and the soon-to-be replaced VW Golf R that are featured in latest episode of "Head 2 Head" from Motor Trend are a match in two out of these three criteria: they're both compact hatchbacks and each gets a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 256hp in the VW and 252hp in the Ford.
Aside from the fact that one is FWD (Focus) and other is AWD (Golf), what they differ in is their price, as the Focus ST 5d starts at $24,495 ($28,170 as tested) and the Golf R 5d at $34,590 ($36,895 as tested).
Since we're talking about a significant price distance between the two ($10k in basic trims), it would have made more sense to use the 2013 Golf GTI, which despite being less powerful at 200hp, it costs the same as the ST at $24,595 for the 4d model.
You will probably be wondering why Carlos Lago from Head 2 Head invited the Subaru BRZ.
Well, being that you cannot turn off stability control on the U.S.-spec Golf R (well, at least not without hacking it…), the crew could not compare the two cars on the race track portion of the test, so they decided to replace it with the BRZ.
Given that they knew or should have known about the Golf R's problem from the start, it makes about as much sense as tits on a bull.
To see how this oddly matched trio faired, head past the break to watch the video.