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Auto blogThu, 23 Jan 2014
The Ford Focus ST has enjoyed a relatively calm, if brief, reign in the world of hot hatches. With nothing else in the class (in the States, at least) but the aging Mazdaspeed3 and Subaru Impreza WRX and the slow-selling Volkswagen Golf R, the Blue Oval's 252-horsepower five door has been the go-to vehicle for those that don't need the high-octane lunacy (and expense) of the rally bred Subaru Impreza WRX STI and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X.
Now, though, as the new Subaru WRX (it's not an Impreza anymore, though, neither is it a hatchback...) starts to arrive at dealers, the Focus ST appears to be under threat for the first time. Naturally, Motor Trend is here to figure out which one is the best, with another one of its Head 2 Head videos. Host Jonny Lieberman puts both cars through their paces, going above and beyond, quite literally, at the very end of the video.
Have a look below and let us know what you think of MT's verdict in Comments.
Every pickup truck commercial has the brand trying to convince us that its model is the biggest, brawniest vehicle on the block. But Ford and Ram appear ready to really throw down the gauntlet and scrap over the towing figures for their heavy-duty models, and it could potentially end up in court.
The issue revolves around what it means to be best in class. Ford claims that its 2015 F-450 (pictured above) has a max tow rating of 31,200 pounds, compared to 30,000 pounds for the Ram 3500 (right). However, both companies market these heavy haulers as having the top towing in their class. According to Automotive News, Ford is threatening legal action if Ram doesn't back down.
The situation isn't as simple as just comparing the numbers, though. First, the two companies calculate their towing capacities differently. Ram adheres to the SAE J2807 rating, while Ford uses its own internal system. Although, as the company introduces new models, they are certified using the SAE standard. "When an all-new F-Series Super Duty is introduced, it also will use SAE J2807," said Ford to Autoblog in an emailed statement.
Ford brought in $5.7 billion in net income during 2012, which is around $307 million less than one year prior. Even so, the automaker closed out 2012 with the highest pre-tax profit for a single quarter in nearly 10 years, earning $1.7 billion in the fourth quarter thanks largely to a higher-than-average truck mix in the US. That's a jump of $577 million over 2011. Likewise, that translated into fourth quarter income of $1.6 billion. All told, Ford set a full-year pre-tax profit record in 2012. But that doesn't necessarily mean everything is rosy in the land of the Blue Oval.
Like every other manufacturer, 2012 saw Ford get hammered in the European Union, where a deep economic recession continues to drive down consumer confidence. The automaker lost more than $700 million in Europe, and saw full revenue of $26.6 billion in 2012. That's a decline of $7.2 billion compared to last yea. Ford says the market for new vehicles in Europe has contracted to 13.5 million units, the lowest number in 17 years. You can read the full press release below for more information.