Chris Harris Puts Ford’s Focus ST Against Opel Astra OPC and Renault Megane RS

Hot hatches are the Swiss Army knives of the automotive world in that they can do almost everything. Their humble underpinnings mean that they are as practical as any hatchback in everyday use, their tuned chassis and powerful engines can scare a sports car or two on twisty roads and they are, comparatively affordable.

There was a time, not so long ago, that putting anything more than 200-horses on the road through the front wheels was considered a recipe for terminal power understeer. Things have certainly changed and, as Chris Harris points out in the video that follows, front-wheel drive hot hatches have really become very competent.

The British journalist decided to place Ford’s new 250HP Focus ST against the Renault Megane RS and the Opel/Vauxhall Astra OPC/VXR, on both the road and the track.

On paper, it’s an unfair comparison as Ford’s competitor in the segment is the upcoming Focus RS and not the ST which is less powerful than the 276HP Astra and the 265HP Megane and is intended as a less hardcore option, being available only as a five-door and an estate.

The counter argument is that, a) Ford has quite a record for building enjoyable hot hatches and b) power isn’t the sole factor in deciding a winner – or else we’d just all look at the spec sheets and get it over with.

You can find out which is the best of the three on British roads and a narrow, wet track by watching the video that follows right after the break.

By Andrew Tsaousis

VIDEO

2020 Mitsubishi L200 Arrives In The UK With £21,515 Base Price

The updated L200 remains a true workhorse, but it now looks more modern and is much improved in all aspects.

Renault Triber Is Bound To Be Full Of Compromises – So, Is It?

Renault’s budget SUV for the Indian market is built to a price, but this doesn’t mean that customers must pass on it.

The UK Now Has More EV Charging Locations Than Gas Stations

Compared to the 8,400 fuel stations, there are currently 9,300 locations for EV car charging in Britain.

Is The e-Legend Concept The Best Looking Peugeot Ever Not Made?

Aside from great design, the e-Legend also boasts a 456 HP electric powertrain and Level 4 autonomy .

Opel To Show “Most Fuel Efficient” Astra Ever, New Corsa, Hybrid Grandland X In Frankfurt

Opel is playing on its home ground on this one, so it’s only natural to go with all guns blazing as it’s making its comeback.

Family Matters: 2019 Audi TTS Takes On First-Gen R8 4.2 FSI

A used, V8-powered R8 costs about as much as a brand new 2019 TTS Coupe, but which one is faster?.

One-Off Pagani Zonda Aether Is The First Zonda Auctioned In Seven Years

Like others, it has its V12 upgraded to 760 spec, but unlike most, it features a manual transmission instead of a semi-auto.

New Mercedes-AMG GT R Black Series Spied With Even Larger Rear Wing

As befitting an AMG bearing the Black Series moniker, the top GT R will feature some extreme aerodynamics components.

Could The Next Nissan GT-R Morph Into A Mid-Engined Supercar?

GM did it with the C8 Corvette – so what if the Japanese decided to follow suit with the Godzilla?.

Rolls-Royce Puts A New Spin On Automotive Easter Eggs With Pastel Colored Pebble Beach Collection

Pastel Collection will be available exclusively to people attending Monterey Car Week.