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After narrowing its search for the best car of the new year, recently crowned the Ford Focus RS - the Blue Oval's hot performance hatchback - with its 2017 Car of the Year award. The experts at acknowledged the Focus RS, which is newly available in North America, with the award due to its features that far surpassed original expectations. Watch the Focus RS in action in the video below:

After going up against a motley assortment of other vehicles in the competition over five days of grueling back-to-back testing, the Focus RS cruised by the other contenders with ease. Johnathan Yarkony, the group editorial director for, cited a slew of reasons for the website's rationale in awarding the Focus RS.

“Ford Focus RS is one of those rare cars that gets massive hype, then still delivered beyond our wildest expectations," he said in a statement released by Ford. "Not only is it a great deal on paper as a practical, all-wheel-drive hatchback, but it leaps right to the top of the hot-hatch segment with 350 horsepower, an enthusiast’s-choice manual transmission and, best of all, its engaging character.”

Although Yarkony focused more on the hatchback's engineering and components, Jamal Hameedi, the chief engineer for Ford Performance, honed in on the team behind the award-winning vehicle.

“It’s an honor to earn the Car of the Year award from,” he shared in the same statement. “The success of Focus RS throughout 2016 is testament to the entire Ford team who put all of their energy into creating such a special car that captures the hearts of driving enthusiasts everywhere.”

Find out for yourself why the Focus RS is a hit with and drivers nationwide - stop by Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington for a test-drive today.