As a kid I used to scan through the back pages of Autocar comparing 0-60mph times and using this information to assess which car I would rather have.

Of course such figures don’t tell the whole story and nowhere is this more apparent than in the Ford Focus RS that I was lucky enough to grab last night.

To put it simply, gun an RS and the fact that a Mitsubishi Evo X FQ360 will reach 60mph around 1.7 seconds quicker is so pointless it is almost laughable.

The RS makes such a rich noise, coupled to an unrelenting wave of torque forcing you into the back of the seat, you really don’t give a monkeys if the Evo, with its anodyne-note and dull four-pot, is faster.

Read Autocar's verdict on the Focus RS

The Ford is so exciting and engaging all of the time – not to mentioning feeling faster - and in an instant has made hot Subarus and Mitsubishis suddenly seem a bit dated. What the Ford has, and the Japanese rally-reps don’t, is character, and bags of it.