The more softly sprung, rear-wheel-drive M135i can’t match the RS’s extreme cornering speeds, especially in the wet, but it still grips gamely, carrying more than enough speed through bends to put a smile on your face. To achieve its potential more driver input is required via the accelerator and through its lighter but more natural-feeling steering. The RS’s steering is more precise, but is often overly keen to self-centre.
For circuit use, Track mode sharpens the Focus RS even more, while Drift mode sends more power to the rear wheels allowing you to carve out smokey circles like a racing god. The adaptive suspension can be toggled into its firmer Sport mode at any point, but this setting is too stiff for road use. Even with the suspension in its softer setting, the RS is decidedly firm, especially around town, although it never becomes crashy. The M135i is far more comfortable in all situations.
Both cars are relatively quiet cruisers. The Focus RS’s engine is boomier at a steady 70mph, but the RS still feels slightly more composed on the motorway because, unlike the M135i, it doesn’t require you to continually make minor steering adjustments to stay in the centre of your lane.
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