Everyone knows that the Germans make some serious performance cars. But what happens when the European division of an American car company sets up shop on Bavarian turf to produce what may be the greatest hot hatch ever? Can it stand up to BMW’s best?

Both the BMW M2 and the Ford Focus RS are made in Germany. Their respective factories are separated by less than 500 miles. Yet each car approaches the compact performance equation very differently.

The hoons over at AutoExpress took both cars to the track for a head-to-head lap battle. Despite the $16,000 price difference, the margin of victory for this showdown is razor thin.

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Which would you take?