The hot hatchback wars are about to heat up as Ford launches the new 2013 Focus ST, but who will be the king? Today we present the facts and then ask which hot hatchback would you choose: the 2013 Ford Focus ST or the 2013 Mazdaspeed3?

Many people would say Mazda is the go-to brand when it comes to the smile-per-dollar factor. There's no question the Mazdaspeed3 lives up to the Zoom-Zoom marketing tagline. A turbocharged four-cylinder producing 263 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque sits under the hood of the Speed3. It bleeds character from its torque steer off the line to its smiling front end. It's exuberant. 

We've begged Ford to bring the tuned version of the Focus that it offers in Europe to America for years. Now we are about to get the 2013 Focus ST featuring a turbocharged, direct-injection 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine producing 252 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. It features electronic systems including a form of torque vectoring to help minimize torque steer, and it does an admirable job. While it doesn't have a big smile on the front end, it does feature a unique design not seen on other Focus models, with a gaping grille that sucks in the air for engine cooling.

Both of these hatchbacks are aimed at enthusiasts. If you want an automatic or dual-clutch transmission you'll have to look elsewhere. The only transmission option in both cars is a six-speed manual.

Making the choice even more difficult is the fact that both of these hot hatches have a price tag that starts just over $24,000.

So, what will it be? Which of these two hot hatchbacks would you choose to purchase and have in your driveway? Let us know in the comments below.

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