Toyota GT86 meets the rivals
Welcome to part one of Top Gear Speed Week - can Toyota's new coupe live up to the hype?
Posted: 24 Aug 2012
But enough of aesthetics. Outside, there’s a track to play with, and I, for one, am very keen to know how these four cars compare. First up, the small matter of the battle for hot-hatch supremacy. OK, so we haven’t got a Golf GTI or Megane RenaultSport here, but, gaping differences in price aside, VXR vs ST is a crunch match.
ST first. Sam drove one of these 3,300 miles across America last issue, which is one hell of an achievement and rather belittles my few-laps-around-an-airfield counterpoint. But one thing’s clear from the moment you slot yourself into the big, fat, cupping seats – the ST has lost none of its sense of purpose. So the 4cyl EcoBoost engine doesn’t idle with the same offbeat rumble as the old five. Big deal. I’m more concerned that, from the moment you get moving, the Focus feels tight and precise. Except the suspension, which delivers comfort. Perhaps too much. It’s not squidgy exactly, more... accommodating, like it’s built to satisfy as many different driving appetites as possible.