How the 2017 Ford Focus RS ‘Drift Mode’ Works
Ford is a company that knows its customers well. Not only is the automaker finally bringing the Focus RS to America, but they are giving the performance-tuned compact car an all-wheel drive system that will come with a one-of-a-kind drift mode. As soon as the mode was announced, questions started to surface, so we thought we would address them by explaining how the 2017 Ford Focus RS Drift Mode works.
We knew from the beginning that the Focus RS would be capable of drifting. Professional rally car driver Ken Block was present for the debut of the performance hatch, and as he drifted it all the way to the stage, the abilities of the RS were made immediately clear. Block was brought in to present the new car not only because he’s one of the world’s most notorious drifters, but because he helped engineer the RS.
When Ford was developing the torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system of the RS, they brought in Block to shed some light on the subject. He worked with the build team to design an all-wheel drive system unlike anything on the market, and as he was involved, it comes as no surprise that a Drift Mode was included.
A successful drift is nothing more than a controlled power oversteer, and as the AWD system of the RS is able to direct 70 percent of total torque to the rear set of wheels, and 100 percent of that output to either the left or right side of the axle, achieving that oversteer is not exactly difficult. Controlling it, however, is another story, and that is exactly where the revolutionary Drift Mode of the Focus RS comes into play.
When in Drift Mode, the compact hatchback relies heavily on the stability control system. The system monitors the spin of the vehicle and keeps you from over-rotating and spinning out. If you are ahead of the car, you have the ability to rotate more, but if the system notices that you’re falling behind with steering, it steps in and corrects the issues automatically. It is essentially a drifting coach for those with minimal skills.
There are of course those who know a thing or two about drifting, and for that reason, the Drift Mode is just that—a mode. The help can be shut off to allow for interruption-free drifting, but according to Ford, the vehicle will be much easier to controllably spin whenever the innovative driving mode is activated.
If you are interested in learning more about how the Drift Mode of the 2017 Ford Focus RS works, you will have to wait for the release date to arrive, and as we told you when looking at the U.S. release date of the hatchback, we may not see the RS on American soil until the fourth quarter of next year. However, as news of the performance-tuned Focus just keeps getting better, we know that it will be worth the wait.
To see the Drift Mode in action, be sure to check out the video below, which shows what happens when the turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine of the 2017 Ford Focus RS breathes a little mountain air.
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