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Focus and Astra SE news - Black and white sprint - 2007

and white. Good and evil. Ying and yang. Apples and pears. Polar opposites
locked in eternal conflict.

A big ol’ scrap, in other
words. That’s what we’re predicting when these two special-edition hot hatches

In the white corner -
purity, sanctity, just a hint of chav-stiletto - the Astra Nurburgring. In the
black corner - power, menace, definite KITT overtones - the Ford Focus Black

They’re both
limited-edition versions of our well-established hot hatch friends, the
Vauxhall Astra VXR and Ford Focus ST, both mechanically identical and both with
a fresh new paint job.

The Astra opts for a
check-on-white colour scheme, along with a high-mounted spoiler and
carbon-fibre flashes, while the Focus goes all-black with orange highlights and
gains a set of fat 19-inch black alloys.

Which one you prefer
probably says something deep and meaningful about your conflicting inner
demons, but they’re both unmissable.

However, there’s one fly
in the big-hot-hatch-scrap ointment. Neither of these special editions are on
their way to the UK. The Astra is an Opel-only edition OPC, while the Focus has
been built in left-hand drive by Ford of Europe.

But fear not. We’ve been
in touch with Vauxhall and Ford, and they’ve both assured us that we in Britain
will get our own special editions - though they might differ slightly from the

“There’ll be a
special edition Astra VXR in the UK towards the end of the year,” a
Vauxhall spokesman said this morning. “Though it won’t look quite like the
Opel, the OPC styling should give you a good idea.”

Ford was more specific.
“We’ll be bringing a run of 500 special edition Focus STs to the UK
soon,” said our man at Ford. “It’ll probably be called the ST500, and
while mechanically identical to the ST, it’ll most likely get a red leather
interior and black paint job.” 

So black versus white it
is, in a fight to the death for our hot hatch souls. Overdramatic? Us?

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