This is a much closer race than we'd ever expect it to be.
We’ve reached boiling point. The crossover segment has gotten enough red hot horsepower that chaos is bubbling and the only way to determine if this pot of water is better than hot hatch cauldron—the one that preceded the super crossover and earned our respect for preserving the love of driving inside the most practical of packages—is to dethrone the kings of that segment. Ford Focus RS, Honda Civic Type R, and Volkswagen Golf R, you’ve been put on notice.
The differences in size between large crossovers and hot hatches are obvious, but here the Audi SQ7’s disadvantage in the weight department is made up by the extra room it has up front, which affords it the luxury of a 4.0-liter tri-turbo V8 engine. The Focus RS, on the other hand, has only its 2.3-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost inline-four to help it out.
Differences in drive wheels are null here thanks to the Ford’s all-wheel drive system and the obvious inclusion of four-wheel drive in the Audi, but the transmission could make or break the race. With a manual gearbox giving the driver the power to make decisions in the Focus RS, it makes the 0-60 mph run in 4.7 seconds with the help of traction control. The Audi needs an extra 0.2 seconds to hit 60 mph, but that triple charge system and the ability to accelerate without relenting thanks to the automatic gearbox could be the deciding factor.