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It's A Drift Monster!

A drift function officially called 'drift mode' will send up to 70% of power to the rear wheels, with 100% of power able to go to one wheel. All of this allowing for incredible pull out from corners:

“We know what our customers love to do, and it was a case of ‘hey, wouldn’t it be really cool to allow someone to have fun, and to use their driving skills, but still have a car that’s able to help when you need it?’ ”
“It works in conjunction with the ESC system,” explained [chief engineer Jamal] Hameedi. “It knows how fast the car is yawing and what you’re doing to catch it. The more you stay ahead of the car, the more the system will let you rotate the car. But if the computer sees you falling behind, your steering inputs not keeping up with the yaw rate, then it steps in and rescues you. We’d say it’s an excellent teaching tool to help develop your skills—it works with you, not against you.”
“It works in conjunction with the ESC system,”
“The limits we’re going to set give anyone enough room to have fun, there’s no need to turn it off. If you’ve gone as far as we’re going to let you [go], then you probably shouldn’t be going any further. It’s like [being] a trapeze artist—we’re going to put the safety net underneath you, but you’re still going to have to go up there and perform the stunts yourself.”

Ford Designed The AWD System In-House

Getting right to the point, here's how Ford explains it, keep scrolling for more: "The Ford Performance All-Wheel-Drive system is based on twin electronically controlled clutch packs on each side of the rear drive unit. These manage the car's front/rear torque split, and can control the side-to-side torque distribution on the rear axle – delivering the "torque vectoring" capability that has a dramatic impact on handling and cornering stability."

Unlike its key competitor, the VW Golf R, the Focus RS utilizes an all-wheel-drive system that is said to have been designed entirely in-house. Assuming the RS is traveling in a straight line with zero slip at any of its four tires, the all-wheel-drive setup sends 100 percent of the available power to the front axle. When slip is detected or if there is steering input, up to 70 percent of the available power can be sent rearward.
Yes I know its now common knowledge that Ford engineers developed the system in house, but that's really not the full story.

Ford is on the record that they worked closely with GKN Driveline, a company out of Sweden, on the Focus RS. Do you know who else worked closely with GKN? Land Rover.

What's interesting is that Car and Driver discovered that the Focus's 'Rear-Drive Unit' shares remarkable similarities to Land Rovers 'Active Driveline' they debuted on hot versions of the Evoque.

The best part about the new system however is its potential scalability. Joe Bakaj, Ford of Europe's VP had this to say, "If you look at the thread of the presentation and what we've used these fast Fords for in the past, a lot of mainstream technologies that we use today came from these vehicles, and I can see this as one of those technologies of the future."

The pricier twin clutch system will likely stay exclusive to RS branded cars, but we could and should see a mono clutch system make its way into Lincoln vehicles first and foremost. One of those rare instances where enthusiasts and accountants find themselves on the same page, of the same book...

Impressive Braking

To complement its power and overall performance, Ford has included a sophisticated high performance braking system with dedicated cooling ducts for improved cooling:

From the Geneva press release:
To help avoid fade even under sustained track use, brake cooling has been maximised through dedicated cooling ducts fed from the front fascia, twin “jet tunnels” in the underbody, and airflow guides on the lower suspension arms. The front discs feature aerodynamically optimised ventilation fins for enhanced cooling.
I liked this part of the release even more:

"the all-new Focus RS features 350 mm ventilated front discs (up from 336 mm on the previous Focus RS) and lightweight aluminium Brembo four-piston monoblock callipers – painted in distinctive RS blue with a Brembo logo available as an option."


Leaked Horsepower Rating

This unintended leak was quickly removed from Ford Ireland's website ( Fortunately a screen shot was taken showing what power will be, "350 PS," (345HP).

Later Ford Reported: “we are still in testing phases, but we are guaranteeing it will at least be over 315 hp. Our final numbers will come closer to launch.”

"As for power, a specially tuned 2.3-litre EcoBoost petrol engine delivers 350 PS"

Accidentally on purpose? Regardless, earlier today publicly released the horsepower figure for the 2017 Focus RS, much to the chagrin of Ford US.

The Official Ford Ireland site was shutdown earlier this evening, I suspect Ford U.S. became involved and shut down the domain in order to investigate if had any other confidential information blatantly displayed. However, an hour later the site went back up and the image was not taken down.

Was this legitimately an accident or a brutally crafty way to generate buzz?

Edit: The image was originally located at, but that link is now redirecting here


It Sounds Great!

If there are any videos you must watch to see the Focus RS in action along with hearing what it sounds like, the 7 video's below, including Ken Block's Gymkhana with the RS, will give you all you need!

Ford wasn't kidding when they said the sound would gurgle and pop in all the right places...
Watch the Focus RS doing what it does best...
Ken Block's GYMKHANA with the NEW Ford Focus RS

skip to 18:30

What To Expect From Ford In The Future

Ford has worked hard to collaborate different existing divisions into one dedicated performance division to deliver the vehicles they have so far, and will be going forward, helping to meet their promise of 12 new global performance vehicles through 2020:

New division unites far-flung operations

COLOGNE, Germany -- Increased speed and performance is the new mantra at Ford Motor Co. as the company scrambles to differentiate itself from rivals.

"You're going to see a lot more use of the racetrack as our laboratory and test bed," Dave Pericak, head of Ford Performance, told Automotive News last month here at the global launch of the new division's Focus RS hatchback.

Ford Performance was formed at the end of last year by combining Ford's Special Vehicle Team in North America, Team RS in Europe and global Ford Racing operation.

"We were confusing customers," Pericak said. "By putting them all under one umbrella, we're going to be much more efficient."

The new division made a resounding impact in January at the Detroit auto show with the surprise unveiling of the V-6 EcoBoost-powered GT supercar, one of 12 global performance vehicles it says it plans to launch by 2020, including the Mustang Shelby GT 350 and GT 350R, Focus ST, Focus RS and F-150 Raptor.

High-powered special vehicles have a long history at Ford but this time it's different, said Ford of Europe chief Jim Farley.

"Performance is a more complete idea," he told Automotive News at the RS unveiling. "People will think about Ford differently than just a commodity. We are not a commodity brand."

The brand polishing will be particularly welcome in Europe, where Ford continues to be unprofitable.

The Focus RS, which comes to the U.S for the first time when it launches at year end, will be powered by a version of the 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbo engine used in the Mustang but making "well in excess of" 320 hp.

But what really caused excitement among hard-core European fans was that it uses all-wheel drive for the first time since the initial Focus RS appeared in 2002.

The awd system includes a "dynamic torque vectoring" system supplied by Britain's GKN Driveline that can push 100 percent of the rear-directed power to either wheel to improve cornering ability. It is similar to the torque vectoring system used on top-end Range Rovers.

"This is absolutely going to raise the chinning bar on performance," said Pericak, who named the Volkswagen Golf R as one of the cars Ford benchmarked.

Under the new Ford Performance philosophy, the torque vectoring system and improved 2.3-liter turbocharged engine also will be used in other models.

"All of this work in some way, shape or form we intend to wrap up in a package down the road in other projects," Pericak said.
The performance cars might act as halo products for the brand, but the intention is that they're profitable in their own right.

"These are not small experiments. These are significant businesses," said Farley, also referring to Ford's upmarket Vignale trim level that debuts this year in Europe in the Mondeo midsize sedan.

Since 2009, the market for performance models ranging from hot hatches to extreme pickups has grown 70 percent in the U.S. and 14 percent in Europe, Ford said without giving figures.

Ford said it sold around 10,000 of the previous-generation Focus RS in Europe. It didn't predict a figure for the new car, which Ford says will be sold globally.

U.S customers will be blown away by the RS's performance, said Raj Nair, Ford's global product development chief. At the reveal, he told Automotive News: "They know speed, but they're going to be surprised by the sophistication of the awd system, by the cornering ability, by the tractive ability and by the fact they are going to be able to use it every day."
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