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2024 Subaru WRX STI vs. 2024 Ford Focus RS: The New Age of Rally-Inspired Performance

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2024 Subaru WRX STI vs. 2024 Ford Focus RS: The New Age of Rally-Inspired Performance

The rally-inspired performance car segment has long thrilled enthusiasts with vehicles that blend everyday usability with the capability to tackle twisty backroads and occasional track days.

As we move into 2024, two models stand out for reigniting the competition: the Subaru WRX STI and the Ford Focus RS. Both cars draw from a rich rally heritage, offering a compelling mix of performance, technology, and driving dynamics.

This comparison delves into the pros and cons of each, aiming to provide a clear picture for potential buyers and fans of high-performance driving.

2024 Subaru WRX STI: Continuing the Legacy


  • Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive: Subaru’s renowned AWD system provides exceptional traction and handling under various conditions, making the WRX STI a standout performer in both dry and wet conditions.
  • Boxer Engine Performance: The latest iteration of Subaru’s turbocharged Boxer engine offers a unique combination of low center of gravity and punchy power delivery, contributing to the car’s dynamic handling and acceleration.
  • Rally Heritage: The WRX STI’s design and engineering are deeply influenced by Subaru’s successful rally history, offering enthusiasts a car that feels connected to the brand’s motorsport legacy.
  • Practicality: Despite its performance credentials, the WRX STI maintains a level of practicality with four doors, a reasonable trunk, and enough space for passengers, making it a high-performance vehicle you can live with daily.


  • Fuel Efficiency: High performance comes with a trade-off in fuel economy. The WRX STI’s powerful engine and AWD system contribute to less-than-ideal gas mileage compared to more conventional vehicles.
  • Ride Comfort: The focus on sporty handling results in a firmer ride, which may not be to everyone’s liking, especially on longer journeys or rough roads.

2024 Ford Focus RS: A Bold Challenger


  • Innovative All-Wheel Drive: The Focus RS features a sophisticated AWD system with dynamic torque vectoring, allowing for exceptional grip and agility. This system helps make the Focus RS incredibly fun to drive, with the ability to send up to 70% of the drive torque to the rear wheels and distribute it side-to-side to sharpen handling.
  • Powerful EcoBoost Engine: Ford’s high-output turbocharged EcoBoost engine delivers impressive power and torque, ensuring the Focus RS has the performance to back up its aggressive styling.
  • Driving Modes, Including Drift Mode: The Focus RS comes with selectable driving modes, including a track setting and an industry-first drift mode, enhancing its versatility and fun factor across a wider range of driving scenarios.
  • Technology and Comfort: The Focus RS balances its performance features with a well-appointed interior, including the latest infotainment technology, comfortable seating, and advanced driver assistance features, making it a more rounded daily driver.


  • Price and Availability: The Focus RS’s advanced technology and performance features come at a premium, potentially placing it out of reach for some enthusiasts. Additionally, limited production runs could make it harder to acquire.
  • Firm Ride and Noise: Similar to the WRX STI, the Focus RS’s focus on performance means a firmer ride that might not suit everyone, and its sporty exhaust note, while exhilarating, can be intrusive during regular commuting.


The 2024 Subaru WRX STI and Ford Focus RS are two of the most exciting rally-inspired performance cars on the market, each offering a unique blend of speed, handling, and practicality.

The choice between them will likely come down to personal preference. The WRX STI appeals to those with a penchant for rally heritage and the unique character of its Boxer engine, while the Focus RS attracts drivers seeking cutting-edge performance technology and a more versatile driving experience.

Both cars exemplify the thrilling potential of modern performance vehicles, capable of delivering smiles per mile both on the daily commute and at the weekend track day.

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