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Focus RS Drift Mode Was A Happy Accident

2342 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Rspeed

We all know one of the major selling points for the Focus RS was its drift mode but, did you know that its conception was purely accidental?

Even without drift mode, the Focus RS was always going to be a strong contender in the hot hatch segment with a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder sitting under the hood, pushing out 350 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. Luckily for us, the ‘crazy guys’ who were working on the Focus RS stumbled upon this features during the hot hatch’s development phase.

In an interview with Motoring, Ford Performance vehicle and engineering manager Tyrone Johnson revealed the whole story and here’s how the discovery went down:

“It wasn’t like that it was more like one of my guys sitting in the car – the lead dynamics guys sitting in the car – and next to him is the guy who is doing the calibration of the all-wheel drive system with a lap-top on his knees.

And they are talking and he says ‘oh let me try this out’ and he tries it and he says ‘oh that’s cool can you give me more of that’ and he gives him more and he says ‘that’s really cool’ and then it starts working.

We put it together and we showed it to Raj and we said ‘this is a nice little trick we can also do with this … with the mode system and the specific set-up for drifting capability.”
Ford’s global technical and development chief, Raj Nair, was actually the one who pushed to have it implemented into the Focus RS. There you have it, an accident that turned into something amazing and Australia wants to have it banned. Johnson wasn’t amused with the prospect and claimed that any car cans cause damage.
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1 - 7 of 7 Posts
I just wonder how many times the average RS owner will use it. The other modes are all highly usable. Not being a killjoy but a realist. ☺
I really don't think a lot of people will use it either. Matt Farah, an enthusiast known for utilizing his vehicles, said himself, that he'll only be using it maybe twice at that.
People are just enamored with the idea of being able to easily drift on tracks even if they won't be using the feature much if at all. But even without drift mode, the Focus RS is still a very hot hatch.
I find it as one of those things that was like "hey, that's really cool to have" rather than "oh boy, I'll be using this all the time !"
The BMW 1M launched something similar that allowed you to hold a slide and it was called the M Dynamic Mode. The Focus RS is similar to that but it makes drifting and holding a slide easier. Maybe BMW will come out with their own easily drift-able car too.

Also makes me think of what else of the Focus RS was discovered by luck.
I doubt BMW would come out with something more geared towards drifting. They're not known for that nor really used for that at all. They seem to be more track inspired thus the GT3s that they always tend to come out with and other race variations.
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
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