It seems like nothing was left to chance with the new Ford Focus RS, not even potholes.
At the Autocar Awards earlier this week, chief engineer Tyrone Johnson made an appearance in Germany along with a Nitrous Blue Focus RS and he told Autocar exactly how thorough they were when it came to their newest hot hatch.
We saw how the Focus RS prototype had to jump through multiple hoops before getting the final thumbs up from Raj Nair in Ford’s Rebirth of an Icon youtube series, well now we hear about one more test the hot hatch had to pass and it was called the ‘pothole test’.
Apparently, every Ford model prototype had to survive 560 pothole drive-overs at a minimum speed of 50mph. This wasn’t just any pothole either, the thing was a steel reinforced suspension and steering destroyer that’s many inches deep. Why 560 times you may ask? Well Johnson doesn’t really know either and said; "I don’t know why it’s 560 times. But that’s what we had to pass.”
There are ways to pass the test without hitting all of Ford’s mainstream engineering targets but it does come at a price. Johnson has most likely gone over this pothole with the RS’ competitors and they don’t always come out unscathed.
"You can pass it by tightening the rebound damping so the wheel doesn’t move, but that obviously compromises the handling. Let me tell you what happened to one of our competitors when we put it through the pothole test, all the suspension and steering bent, including the subframe."
We will most likely try out best to avoid potholes at speeds exceeding 50 mph but you can drive safe knowing that the Focus RS can handle whatever the rough streets can throw at it.