AutoGuide.com gathered six of the most significant new cars for the 2017 model year for our annual Car of the Year evaluations. This year, our contenders are the Hyundai Elantra, BMW M2, Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, Kia Optima, 2017 Ford Focus RS and Chevrolet Cruze. There was no hard price cap on this year’s entrants, but we tried to make sure none of them were extravagantly priced. We will release a new video on each contender every day leading up to Dec. 13, when we announce our winner. Stay tuned for our Crossover/SUV of the Year and Truck of the Year series, which is also coming soon!
This is the first time the 2017 Ford Focus RS has been offered in North America, and the hot hatch has a lot of enthusiasts very excited. The car basically builds on what drivers liked about the Focus ST and makes it even more hardcore.
The biggest upgrades to the rally-inspired racer are the all-wheel-drive system and the 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder that provides a very healthy 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. Thatengine is hooked up exclusively to a slick six-speed manual sending power to all four wheels so drivers have maximum traction for powering out of corners and even drifting like the Ken Block proteges everyone aspires to be — the system can send up to 70 percent of the engine’s torque to the rear axle for maximum hoonage.