Head 2 Head has to introduce third player into the comparison test as the VW Golf R's electronic controls can't be switched off.
In MotorTrend's latest episode of Head 2 Head, Carlos Lago, seemingly inspired by our Hot Hatches series, compares a couple of hatchbacks, initially pitting the 2013 Ford Focus ST against the 2012 VW Golf R before a problem forces him to substitute it for a Subaru BRZ. The road test editor initially heads to the canyons where he discovers the Focus ST's boy-racer appeal trumps the Golf R's more refined persona. Professional racing driver Randy Pobst then takes over on the track.
Unfortunately, VW doesn't allow the all-wheel-drive Golf R's traction and stability control to be turned off. So without being able to realize the hatchback's true track potential Pobst decides to see how the front-wheel drive Focus ST compares to the Subaru BRZ, a no-nonsense rear-drive sports car.