Pleasure above all – that’s the motto of these cars. Even standing still, they excite the imagination, forcing them to imagine themselves in the role of a street racer. The recipe for creating “hot” versions is simple. Let’s take an ordinary family hatch, put a more powerful engine, make the suspension stiffer, slightly retouch the exterior, add a few extra touches in the cabin. And the deed is done – the urban sports car is ready to conquer roads and hearts. Both of our wards are outwardly very spectacular, but they still have a different approach to solving the problem of attracting attention.
The Focus ST wants to stand out and not be like its fellow models, and it does it well. First of all, thanks to the corporate color Electric orange – it is almost impossible not to notice this “clockwork orange” in the stream or in the parking lot. Only then are the aesthetic differences from the usual Focus striking – a front bumper with a wide “mouth”, embossed door sills, a spoiler on the tailgate, a three-door body that is not the most common on our market, two exhaust pipes, huge 18-inch wheels. And, of course, the ST badge. However, the Focus ST is also a five-door. Japanese hatchback looks more modest. Impresa WRX outwardly differs little from the standard versions. Only one detail catches the eye – the hood, bared with an air intake, transparently hinting that it was not at all a “family” engine that was hidden under it.
Inside, the continuity of the course set by the exterior designers can be traced. The non-standard Focus ST is underlined by additional details. Three additional instruments appeared on the front panel in the center, the digitization of the speedometer ends at around 280 km / h, a low gearshift lever with a varnished lining pleases with short strokes. The steering wheel with a developed anatomical grip fits comfortably in the hands, and the body firmly holds the Recaro seat with pronounced lateral support. The padding seems too soft, as if it emphasizes that sport is sport, but without comfort you will not go far. The salon of the Japanese sport hatch is not replete with unnecessary details. The developers seem to have decided to limit themselves to replacing the standard chairs for the model with “pseudo-buckets”, which do an excellent job with the task assigned to them – to do so, to make the driver feel one with the car. A more detailed study of the interior revealed one more, and, it seems, the last difference between the sport version and the standard one – the tachometer moved to the central place in the instrument cluster, and the speedometer moved to the right.
But, once you start the engine, you completely forget about all the differences and similarities in design – the tuned Focus ST exhaust basses pleasantly, promising an avalanche of drive, the Subarovsky opposition whispers dully, delivering no less pleasure to the ear. And both are asked to quickly turn on the first gear.
Despite the similarity of the declared power and torque figures, the motors differ not only in design, but also in character. The Ford engine doesn’t seem to know what “turbo-lag” is, it pulls merrily from the very bottom and willingly follows the driver’s foot. Not the longest gearbox gears urge you to either constantly twist the engine to the limit, enjoying the acceleration and sound, or shift as high as possible and try to drive calmly. But it’s still hard to contain yourself.
The Subaru engine in the first minutes of acquaintance seems more phlegmatic. In fact, this is a misleading impression. As soon as the tachometer needle gets close to the 2500 rpm mark, all the horses hidden in the depths of the “opposite” wake up and begin to uncontrollably rush to freedom. And then just have time to snap off the transmission. But if there is no need to hurry somewhere, you can calm down the raging horses and drive calmly, gently and powerfully accelerating the car by smoothly stroking the gas pedal. On the move, the behavior of the cars is also not too similar to each other. A Clockwork Orange was predictably tough. The suspension informs the driver in detail about all the flaws in the roadway, but everyone who decides to buy an urban “sports car” should be ready for this. I was surprised by something else – the clutch pedal is “civilian” light,
The Impresa WRX behaves differently. Noticeably softer chassis settings allow passengers not to flinch at every bump, in corners the body rolls more than expected, but this does not spoil the drive – the car faithfully follows the trajectory set by the driver, responding to steering commands with a subtle delay. Yes, and in the driver’s seat you feel like in a real sports car: the steering wheel is filled with a pleasant weight, and after an hour in traffic jams, the left leg starts to ache from the tight clutch pedal.
Image By: designcorral.com