Amidst all the talk of new hot hatches, not much has attention has been devoted to performance sedans. The most exciting update was supposed to the 2017 Subaru WRX STI, but it virtually changed nothing save for some add-ons unrelated to design or performance.

The good news is that there is something to talk about, and it’s called the 2017 Ford Fusion V6 Sport. Starting at $33,475, it’s a pretty close contender to the popular WRX STI that asks for $35,200.

What it boasts under the hood is a 2.7L twin-turbo V6 that delivers up to 325hp and 380lb-ft torque, handled by a paddle-shifted six-speed auto that relegates power to an AWD setup. What sets the range-topping Fusion is its Sport Mode.

By hitting the button at the center of the rotary dial shift knob, changes are applied to the vehicle for better handling control, more aggressive transmission programming, snappier steering, and a more responsive engine.

There are also intelligent dampers that would help the Fusion V6 Sport minimize the impact of running over potholes. Does the WRX STI boast comparable specs?

2017 Subaru WRX STI

2017 Subaru WRX STI

It may not have the most comfortable ride, but the rally prince handles like no other, thanks to its limited-slip differentials and torque vectoring. Available from its 2.5L turbo boxer engine is 305hp and 290lb-ft torque that hasn’t been change for a number of years but still packs a punch.

What makes the WRX STI stand out is its AWD system that takes power from the six-speed manual and uses its differential to distribute power equally to the front and rear. Torque can be alloted to each side of the vehicle depending on its circumstances, providing it with control that’s paralleled by few.

We only wished that it offered Subaru’s EyeSight safety system. Perhaps it would for its next-gen model in 2018, along with a more powerful 2.0L turbo boxer to replace the aging unit it currently houses.