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Discussion Starter #1
I know, I know, the ST isn't competition for the RS. I want to get former ST owner's opinions how they feel about the RS vs the ST. I traded in my 2013 Tuxedo Black ST3 for my RS on Wednesday. Sad to see the ST go, but it's so totally worth it.

The RS to me is a totally different animal. It doesn't feel like the ST in regards to handling at all. I was a bit worried it would drive like the ST with some spinning of the back tires. I shouldn't have been concerned, that torque vectoring rear is AMAZING.

One thing that always annoyed me with the ST is putting power down. There was always too much power for the available grip, I like being able to floor it without wheel hop or tons of wheelspin. I replaced the rear motor mount because the stock one is awful. This made starting from a stop a bit tricky. The vibrations it would transfer were awful, so I'd have to feed more throttle, which would make the wheels skip.

Turn in on the ST was phenomenal, it loved to bite into the corner. Corner exit always left me wanting a bit more, but the lift off oversteer was a hoot.

I love how the RS puts power down, makes it easy to use all 350 horses. The push from the rear end is a fantastic feeling. You can really tell the power goes to the outside rear. Exhaust sound is much better (who doesn't love pops?) and the intake noise is still present. My ST was all intake noise with the Roush intake on it.

How do you think the ST and RS compare?

Here's a pic of old Betty 9629d1368678838-black-betty-179191_10151927208983572_2096647170_n.jpg
 
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If you live where I do, the ST is hands down several pegs below the RS. The AWD of the RS in the snow would blow the doors off it.
I was concerned about how much time and effort I put into nearly 8 years of Mazdaspeed3 ownership and how it would miss it dearly before getting the RS, now I just want it gone. That's the effect the RS has on me in the couple of days I have had it.
 

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I honestly feel that you're comparing a great car to a just slightly greater car. I must admit I never owned an ST but have been fortunate to race and drive them quite a bit. It's likely I would have one now (or maybe an evo) if the rs hadn't been announced while we were vehicle shopping.

While the RS is obviously faster the fact of the matter is it's only more than an ST maybe 5% of the time. Only when you are mashing it and using that extra 100hp or getting into the corners hard enough to make TQ vectoring really work. Day to day the cars are nearly identical with the edge going to the ST because of weight and mileage imo.

The st is a phenomenal handler with its savage turn in and darty nature when compared to others in class. Something I felt was a bit lost in the rs. Something that's even more apparent in the fiesta. If I owned and st, either focus or fiesta really, I'm not sure I'd be rushing to get an RS if I was allowed to really test drive one hard.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
@Tyraid having driven the ST for so long, I think the difference is pretty significant. More significant than the jump from WRX to STi, I would guess.

I agree the RS has lost the dartiness of the ST, but I'm willing to trade that off for putting power down.

I would have to disagree with the RS only being better than the ST 5% of the time though. I'd say it's better all the time. It really is a totally different monster and I think it's much more pleasant to drive, more refined, rides better. My pov is probably skewed since I'm comparing my modded ST to a stock RS. That RMM was serious business.

I'd like to drive a stock 16 or 17 ST to get a better idea of how the ST has changed with the facelift and subtle differences.
 
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Both are great in their categories but I'll throw the FiST into the mix also, since I own all three.

Coming from the Moostang world I've been nothing but impressed with the FoST, FiST, and FoRS.

I see the FiST as the junior high XC runner, the FoST as the middle child that's always trying to outdo the older sibling the FoRS.

Putting down the traction is the Achilles heel in both the FiST and FoST, but that's expected since they're FWD platforms.

The Stage III FoST feels to build steam quicker than the FoRS twin scroll but once the AWD and twin scroll kicks in it's not contest when it comes to lateral acceleration.

The FiST is the funniest of the three, hands down.

Don't make me choose between my three kids.
 

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@Tyraid having driven the ST for so long, I think the difference is pretty significant. More significant than the jump from WRX to STi, I would guess.

I agree the RS has lost the dartiness of the ST, but I'm willing to trade that off for putting power down.

I would have to disagree with the RS only being better than the ST 5% of the time though. I'd say it's better all the time. It really is a totally different monster and I think it's much more pleasant to drive, more refined, rides better. My pov is probably skewed since I'm comparing my modded ST to a stock RS. That RMM was serious business.

I'd like to drive a stock 16 or 17 ST to get a better idea of how the ST has changed with the facelift and subtle differences.
Having only briefly driven an ST during test drive I will say I'm not the best source, but if we are making comparisons than I'll throw in my 2 cents and say that the difference from a 06 WRX to a '12 STI was not as great as I'd hoped regarding power, but the STI had a different feeling that make it feel vastly different. The close ratio box and the DCCD + SI drive made it feel much more different from the WRX. The ST to the RS has a similar difference to it as the WRX to the STI, however it was more relating to power / drive than the extra's. I prefer most of the RS to the STI, I just wish I could have a DCCD and a better display on the dash than the RS has. The center gauge display on the RS is somewhat of a joke compared to the new STI center gauge, but that's not why I bought this car and I will mod. Both the ST and the RS are great cars though, but the RS has a much more profound / intense feel to it than the ST did (in my opinion).
 

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I see the FiST as the junior high XC runner, the FoST as the middle child that's always trying to outdo the older sibling the FoRS.
Former CC (prefer CC over XC) runner, and older(est) sibling to a younger sister that also elected to do the distance runner thing ....analogy checks out.
 

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I have only ever had WRX's and never driven an ST but all reports I have seen put my same year Rex's well above the capabilities of an ST.

Now that I have stepped into the RS, in comparison the WRX seems average in most areas. So that would have me feel that the RS should be a big step up from an ST.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
@Hoonigan I've never gotten to drive a FiST, but I always hear they are the most tossable out of the 3 ST/RS siblings. I wanted the FoST shortly after they were announced, and decided it was worth the extra weight and $ for the more powerful car. Coming from a Subaru Legacy (non-turbo) the ST was a welcome surge of power and handling.
@Sikmrex I took my buddy from work for a drive in it yesterday. He has a WRX and at the end of the ride he turns to me and goes "I need one of these".
 
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The ST is a great car, tons of fun, don't get me wrong. I laughed just about every time it made that goofy Zoidberg noise when you give it throttle and back off. Now I laugh at pops and bangs. The RS is what I really wanted when I bought the ST. I never thought in a million years the RS would be coming to the US. If I had known then, I might've waited, or gotten the FiST to tide me over til the RS was available.

I enjoyed the lift off oversteer, thought that was hilarious too. But power on oversteer is so much better. I love feeling the push from the rear end, I'm an AWD turbo hatch kinda guy and this is the peak of the mountain for me. The ST is sitting on a ledge not too much further down the slope.
 
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Both are great in their categories but I'll throw the FiST into the mix also, since I own all three.

Coming from the Moostang world I've been nothing but impressed with the FoST, FiST, and FoRS.

I see the FiST as the junior high XC runner, the FoST as the middle child that's always trying to outdo the older sibling the FoRS.

Putting down the traction is the Achilles heel in both the FiST and FoST, but that's expected since they're FWD platforms.

The Stage III FoST feels to build steam quicker than the FoRS twin scroll but once the AWD and twin scroll kicks in it's not contest when it comes to lateral acceleration.

The FiST is the funniest of the three, hands down.

Don't make me choose between my three kids.
I've driven all three (the 2 ST's on the Miller Motorsports track in Utah) and have owned the Focus ST and Focus RS. Both ST models have more "character" in terms of managing torque steer and avoiding wheel spin. The Fiesta is the more nimble of the ST. All 3 constantly egg you do go for more with the Fiesta begging the least and the RS actually anticipating you desire to take a corner at speed. In so doing, the RS takes the Focus and gives it - albeit with loads more horsepower - the nimble behavior that gave the Fiesta an edge in handling. I'm really looking forward to driving an RS at the Utah track sometime this year (Adrenaline Academy).
 

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The RS is an entirely different animal compared to the Focus ST.

The ST was fun and tossable, the RS is as well. Its just the RS flat out HAULS anytime you involve a cornering. Its so difficult to drive an RS too aggressively, it manages traction at each wheel so well that you end up just flooring it so early because you know it will put the power down and GO.

The ST blows the front tires away in just about every situation. From a 20 roll when tuned it will just light the tires on fire when boost hits. Even when the tires were warm, and I was attacking an on-ramp, I could feel the inside front tire slip and let go, wasting power and acceleration. And because it is FWD, when you overcome front grip with power, it washes out like a FWD car, because it is a FWD car.

Is the RS worth the 11k premium? To me, every dollar of that premium is worth it.

The one thing I just noticed, is that unless you are getting a base Focus ST ST1, all of the packages force you to have a Moon Roof. That annoys me. I don't like the moonroof, and I didn't order it with my RS.
 

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I very much prefer the RS to the ST. My favorite part is the suspension damping and spring rates chosen by Ford for the RS. absolutely perfect!
 
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The RS just corners much harder. WAY more grip on the same size tire despite the extra weight it carries.

My ST had Pilot SuperSport 245's on it, compared to the 235's on the RS.
 

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ST: 70-0 in 165' RS 70-0 in 156', ST Lat G's .93 RS Lat G's .98, ST 0-60 5.7 RS 0-60 4.6, ST 1/4 mi 14.8 sec, RS 1/4 mi 13.4 sec, ST Pops & Burbles 0. Come on....this isn't even close.

I loved my ST, but I can't think of a single thing that it did better than my RS does.
 

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I loved my ST, but I can't think of a single thing that it did better than my RS does.
Pull from 1000 rpm? That's all I can think of.
 
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I too had a 2013 Focus ST from new in Panther Black before I moved up to the RS. I loved the ST and looked after it as I do the RS. The ST had a likeable insolence to it with its torque steer and wheel hop, but if played correctly was manageable and a heap of fun to drive. It's dynamics were great and it had plenty of power to provide. I wasn't sorry to sell it in knowing what I was moving up to. In comparison as soon as you sit in the RS, hit the start button, select Sport mode and press the metal, you know you're in the big league and joined a club that goes back nearly 50 years. As soon as you aggressively take on a corner applying the power and feeling the rear hook in, you know this is a road going rally car. As much as I loved and respected the ST, it didn't give me any of that. This is truly something special.....
 

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When we bought the RS we kept the ST. (my wife has a 2014 ST3 with every option) we have had the ST for a while. I have had a love hate relationship with the car. I hated the poor mileage it got till it had 15k miles. I hated the poor turn radius while hating the 2 turns lock to lock even more. The brakes and clutch are touchy and the car made me look like I just learned to drive. And I hate the navigation in sync 2. (Back story is I drive multiple old ass sports cars and trucks daily) Since it was my wife’s only choice to drive she learned the diesel torque and the brakes and clutch and did well. She did have trouble the first couple times she needed to haul something in the Eddie Bauer with the slow steering and soft brakes lol. Her big complaint about the ST, can’t drive in heels. Other than that it’s a good mommy car. The kids say she drives too fast as it is don’t let her have a RS lol.

The RS. Well it is MUCH more refined, lol or as least as much as a Focus can be. The drivability of the RS was much better, the brakes and clutch were much better at point of engagement. By now I was ready for 2 turns lock to lock and was not bothered. My 17 year old got in the RS and instantly said this is much easier to drive. I agree it is much easier to drive in all areas slow or freeway or even driving seriously too hard the RS was nicer from the driver’s seat. Not meaning faster lap times meaning it was easier to feel comfortable driving. The RS is a better car for many reasons. And I have things I really don’t like on the RS. But like it I do. I just wish the suspension drove better than a slammed RX-7 drift car. Or my 4x4

Now that I have hated the ST so gleefully and howled my disparagement for 2 years, I like our ST more now that it has a RS sitting next to it. Pretty funny. But my children do as well. My 17 year old wants to buy the ST from mom now that he got a real job. He told me I should have bought a Mazda 3 when we got the ST. hard to blame him if you look at who I am. But it’s true we love our RS and now we love our ST too. It is certainly more comfortable on our harsh Las Vegas streets. And sometimes it’s fun to spin the tires.

It will take some training to let the butt dyno believe the car will actually go that fast around a corner. The torque steer is a serious feeling for me and reminds me of the rear steer on a 87 rx-7 finally receiving enough yaw to let the back track out and OH ****, I thought the car was going to spin and it hooked up and went faster Woah! The amazing turn of the ST is gone because the back is tracking actively into the corner not just along for the ride. But when the car fails to slide out track out or hardly under steer you are forced to drive faster until inducing some of these effects. If you do this you will realize you are traveling significantly faster than a Focus was ever intended to travel.
Let see what this thing does at 88 miles an hour……

Chrim
 

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Now that I've had a chance to get through break in on the RS I feel a bit more comfortable comparing it to my ST. In the winter climate there is simply no comparison. Te RS is hands down more fun even though I loved flicking the ST around corners. I didn't have much time with the sport cup 2s in the Rs since I got it in November but the suspension bounce may wear on me.

The ST was a stopgap for me as well. I wanted an RS all along( I've also owned a titanium hatchback before the ST came out). The ST was so much fun on my test drive I didn't think twice about the purchase. When it came to the RS I was a bit more hesitant because quite honestly the ST is that good. I also had a GTI for one week when someone backed into my first focus and I have to say as much as the media loves it was not as much fun to drive as the ST. I have wanted a Ford RS model for many years and was excited when it came to the US. I was not excited that the dealers were asking premiums but ultimately got mine at or slightly below MSRP.

I am surprised by its understeer in turn in but you can modulate it with the throttle. I am pleased that there is less synthesized sound than the ST but there is still too much. On the road its more planted and the refinement is higher than the ST. It is nice to accelerate without spinning the tires off their rims and although a Camaro SS or Mustang GT may be faster (and sound better) in traffic they aren't as usable and nimble in traffic and ultimately should be parked when the snow flies. I've only driven a Fiesta ST at the Ford Ecoboost challenge and in the small course it was a hoot but I felt the FoST was more fun. I don't miss my ST owning the RS but I would never tell anyone not to buy one. Ford did a great job with the ST and took it further with the RS.
 
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