Hot Hatch Shakedown – Honda Civic Type R Vs. Ford Focus RS
For older stateside hot hatch fans out there, it’s probably crystal clear that we’re currently in a new golden age of performance, one that was once relegated to the realm of fantasy and bench racing. High-powered, tear-drop-shaped compacts with an odd number of doors, turbocharged power, and sports car-like handling are finally, finally finding their way to the U.S. market, and after decades of waiting and ogling from afar, U.S. buyers will soon have a chance to get behind the wheel of four-wheeled superstars previously considered forbidden fruit solely for Europe and Japan. Two of the biggest contenders in this space are the Honda Civic Type R and the Ford Focus RS, both incredible cars aimed squarely at the enthusiast buyer. But which is better?
You can’t help but put these two compact titans in a side-by-side comparison. Both are roughly the same in terms of cost, both come with turbocharged four-cylinder engines, both get manual transmissions, and both offer five-door practicality. Both also carry a long history of making speed lovers smile, and command a veritable army of zealous followers to champion their claim to hot hatch supremacy.
But there are some serious differences as well. While the Focus is an AWD hammer, boasting four corners of grip and some impressive firepower under the hood, the Civic is a FWD scalpel, packing less weight and a history of apex-hunting prowess.
Which will come out on top – the Blue Oval Drift Mode bomber, or the H Badge slice and dice katana? It’s America versus Japan in a hot hatch shakedown. Read on for our take.
Continue reading for the full comparison.
Digitally Tuned Ford Mach-E Is Closer To the Notion of a Mustang
There’ve been a lot of voices speaking against Ford’s decision to use the Mustang moniker on a crossover, be it a fully-electric one, in tandem with a second name, derived from the iconic Mach 1 nameplate. Some say Ford’s naming gamble might cost the company in the long term, but we’re not here to discuss that.
Today, we stumbled upon a digitally rendered Mach-E that in our view, is closer to what the Mustang name entails. Albeit still a crossover, you’ll see that the vehicle tweaked tastefully by Abimelec Design oozes a lot more sportiness than the real Mach-E EV.
This Rendering of a Shelby Super Snake Widebody Looks Downright Amazing
The tuning world isn’t short of widebody kit options ready to imbue the Ford Mustang’s aesthetics. Just have a look at past SEMA shows. But sometimes it’s the work of freelance pixel manipulators that excites the eyes.
Take this attempt at rendering a Ford Shelby Mustang Super Snake. It keeps all the elements that make the current Mustang a Mustang, all while adding beefed-up bits and bobs here and there without going over the top with it. Almost everything’s right about this rendering, from the overly aggressive front end to the sharpness of that rear wing.
2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty Baja Forged by LGE-CTS Motorsports
One of the baddest and meanest trucks to have graced this year’s SEMA Show is this Ford F-250 Super Duty Baja Forged by LGE-CTS Motorsports, a California-based aftermarket company. There is nothing to not like about this truck. It looks vintage, it has the ‘Baja’ identity, and it has the old-school persona attached to it. The Baja Forged Super Duty is an all-in-one mobile command center, workshop, and campsite that will be utilized as a chase truck for the Baja Forged Ford Ranger that was launched by the company at last year’s SEMA Show. Such is the versatility of the truck that even Ford calls this the “Swiss army knife for the modern adventurer.” Need we say anything more about it?
1968 Ford Bronco Wagon by Jay Leno, Ford Performance, LGE-CTS, and SEMA Garage
With a modern Ford Bronco just around the corner, TV personality and car collector Jay Leno gave new life to a first-generation Bronco Wagon with help from Ford Performance and various aftermarket tuning shops. Shown to the public at the 2019 SEMA Show, this Bronco retains the looks of the original SUV, but it features modern underpinnings with a supercharged V-8 built by Ford Performance. The story behind the vehicle is quite interesting, as it was left for Jay Leno as a joke by fellow TV host Craig Ferguson. Leno kept the vehicle in his garage unrestored until he decided that it deserves a new life.
Various companies and shops contributed to the project, starting with Ford Performance, FoMoCo’s very own performance division. Kincer Chassis, Dennis Carpenter Ford Restoration Parts, SEMA Garage, and LGE-CTS Motorsports.
2019 Ford Ranger Rambler by RTR
Ford teamed up with RTR to tag-team the 2020 Ranger and has brought two fine examples to the 2019 SEMA show. One of those concepts was the Ranger RTR, and the other is the Ranger RTR Rambler. While the Ranger RTR is already up for sale, will the Rambler prove that it has what it takes to makes its way to the showroom floor? Let’s take a look at what the Ford Ranger Rambler by RTR is all about!
2020 Ford Urban Escape by LGE-CTS
The 2020 Ford Escape is well-represented at the 2019 SEMA Auto Show. Three different versions of Ford’s hot-selling crossover are in attendance at the world’s largest auto show, including the Ford LGE-CTS Motorsports Urban Escape. As the name implies, the LGE-CTS Urban Escape is a stylish all-around crossover vehicle designed to tackle both urban and off-road environments. It comes with a smattering of upgrades in the form of new equipment and performance modifications, among other things. It’s not the fanciest tuned version of the Escape that’s at SEMA, but it is the one that a lot of people will no doubt gravitate to, in part because of its functionality and all-around usefulness in the real world.
2020 Ford Mustang Lithium
The 2019 Ford Mustang Lithium is an all-electric version of the sixth-generation Mustang developed by Ford in collaboration with Webasto. Showcased at the 2019 SEMA Show, the Mustang Lithium is just a concept car, but it paves the way toward the Mustang-inspired electric SUV that Ford will launch in 2020. The latter is part of Ford’s plans to invest more than $11.5 billion in electric cars by 2022, so the Mustang Lithium likely features technology that will make it into production vehicles. Is this the future of Ford?
Ford’s SEMA-Bound SUV Lineup Will Feature Portable Fridges, Camping Tents, and Video Cameras
The 2019 Ford Escape, 2019 Ford Explorer, and 2019 Ford Expedition are all fresh in the eyes of many, making them ideal candidates to get showcased at the 2019 SEMA Auto Show. In keeping with form, that’s exactly what Ford is doing. The Blue Oval is bringing eight custom SUVs to SEMA, including three Escapes, three Explorers, and a pair of Expeditions. Each of these SUVs come with different flavors of personalization that showcases the variety of ways current and future owners can customize their rides. There are some interesting creations among the eight SUVs, some of which are more interesting than others.
Remember the Mustang-Inspired EV Ford is Working on? Here’s When We’ll Finally See It
In case anyone’s forgotten, Ford’s all-electric,
inspired crossover is still happening. In fact, it’s happening sooner than you think. The long-awaited and highly controversial model is arriving in concept form later this year — the L.A. Auto Show, perhaps? — and will go on sale sometime in 2020. The yet-to-be-named model (it could be called the Mach-E) is expected to serve as Ford’s champion in the increasingly competitive electric SUV market, a segment with no shortage of new models that are arriving around the same time as the Ford electric SUV. The time for talking is over. Ford’s Mustang-inspired crossover is coming, and, for better or worse, it’s going to be one of the most important vehicles Ford has released in recent memory. Pressure? What pressure?
The Forgotten 2004 Ford Shelby GR-1 Concept Is Finally Going to Production
How often do you get to read a title like that? How often does anybody revive a 15-year-old concept? Well, that’s exactly what Superformance, licensed builders of Shelby reproductions for decades, are plotting to do with the stunning GR-1 concept car. It will be here in two year’s time, with either an electric or gas-powered drivetrain, and it should deliver astonishing performance that includes a two-second sprint to 62 mph.
Now, I know you may be asking yourselves why we’re reporting about what a tuner plans to debut two years from now. It’s even fair to assume that all of this may be vaporware, but the guys at Superformance are as serious as it gets. It is, first and foremost, "a distributor of complete, rolling-chassis replica and continuation race cars of the 1960s" that’s been in the business since 1996 and has received the blessing of both Ford and Shelby American to build a number of Shelby Cobra continuation models that are painstakingly accurate to the original.
2018 Ford Ka Urban Warrior
The Ford Ka Urban Warrior is a small compact sedan dressed up as a light off-roader. It is like the Škoda Fabia Scout, only with *ss, or the Volvo S60 Cross Country, only cheaper and smaller. It is like the Dacia Logan Stepway, only for Brazil, not Russia. Obviously, this is quite a special car, but still in its concept guise and was revealed at the San Paulo International Motor Show. I told you before, one can see many gems there. The Ka Urban Warrior Concept is one of them.
2018 Ford Ranger Storm Concept and Ford Ranger Black Edition
Some gems appeared at the Sao Paulo International Motor Show - the Ford Ranger Storm Concept definitely being one of them. The other one? The Toyota Hilux Gazoo Racing truck. Interestingly enough, neither will be coming to the U.S. Well, the Ranger Storm Concept, if approved for production, will be one of the closest things to a Ranger Raptor without actually being the Raptor. Considering that Ford confirmed that the Ranger Raptor wouldn’t be coming in the U.S., something like the Ranger Storm Concept or the other one that appeared at the Sao Paulo International Motor Show - the Ranger Black Edition could be a wonderful addition to the U.S. range.
Without further ado, let’s see what the Ranger Storm Concept and the Ranger Black Edition are all about.
2018 Ford Explorer Sport by MAD Industries
One of the Ford Utility Concepts scheduled to debut at the SEMA this month is a rather fashionable piece finished by MAD Industries. This California-based tuner has worked with Ford numerous times before usually tuning cars for the SEMA. This time is no different as they have revealed a custom Ford Explorer with a cool two-tone exterior paint job. Now, I have to tell you that, at first glance, the MAD Industries Explorer looks a bit like a Range Rover. Maybe the Evoque.
Nevertheless, there is much more to it than that. MAD Industries did a thorough job refreshing the Explorer inside and out.
2018 Ford Edge ST by Blood Type Racing
Blood Type Racing is returning to the SEMA Auto Show with a new creation. The noted tuner is mixing it up this year, ditching past automotive muses like the Hyundai Genesis Coupe and Ford Focus ST in favor of a Ford Edge ST. It’s a fitting challenge for Blood Type Racing; the Edge ST is the first SUV to come out of the Ford Performance team so, by default, it’s performance-ready on its own. But even that didn’t dissuade Blood Type Racing from going to work. The tuning specialist created an extensive program for the SUV, highlighted by an engine upgrade program that adds more power to a vehicle that already boasts an output of 335 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque to go with an ST-tuned suspension.
2018 Ford Expedition Classic by LGE*CTS Motorsports
The Ford Expedition is arguably one of the most versatile SUVs in the market. It has the size, the technology, and the all-around capability that you’d want from a full-sized SUV. It’s also highly customizable, whether through Ford itself or through the aftermarket tuning scene. The Ford LGE*CTS Expedition Classic is a perfect example of the latter. It’s designed and built by noted designer Theresa Contreras, who focused on creating a “modern classic” interpretation of Ford’s popular SUV. There’s a lot to like about the this tuned Expedition, particularly its impressive presentation. We’ll get to see it up close at the 2018 SEMA Auto Show in Las Vegas.
2018 Ford EcoSport Big Adventures by Tucci Designs
The Ford EcoSport’s standing as the Blue Oval’s smallest crossover isn’t stopping it from making a statement at the 2018 SEMA Auto Show. With assistance from aftermarket tuner, Tucci Designs, the EcoSport is showing off a more rugged “Big Adventures” personality that’s built for the outdoors. Bucci Design’s Ford EcoSport Big Adventures is one of five Ford crossovers and SUVs that’s appearing at SEMA when the world’s biggest aftermarket auto show opens its doors next month.
Raised Ford GT is another kind of Raptor
Supercars are designed and built to accelerate and go around corners quickly on smooth tarmac, but what if you have one with raised suspension, body cladding, and beefy off-road rims and tires? It’d probably look somewhere along the lines of this digitally manipulated previous-generation Ford GT and would even be decent off-road, but nowhere near as good as it originally was on-road.
2018 Ford Mustang GT by CGS Motorsports
As part of the SEMA show this year, Ford introduced a quartet of amazing, modified Mustangs, one of which is actually a car crafted by the CGS Motorsports. Every year, Ford gifts us with four or five fantastic tuned Mustangs and gives us a unique opportunity to see just how differently tuners approach the tuning of these cars. California-based CGS Motorsports focused on power and performance upgrades and simplistic interior mods. While we are still waiting for the interior shots, the sketch of the exterior shows admirable modifications and transformation of the 2018 Ford Mustang GT fastback into a proper street racer.