2016 Ford Focus RS – passenger ride

Saturday, October 8th, 2016 - autos

Source : 2016 Ford Focus RS – passenger ride

Ford’s brand brand-new hot hatchback can be powered by a 2.3-litre Ecoboost engine with 345bhp, in addition to we’ve been for a first ride

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“I worked my ass off to make in which do in which,” says the man to my left. ‘in which’ can be the hot hatch of the moment, the brand-brand-new Ford Focus RS. in addition to the man talking about in which – driving in which, typically enthusiastically – can be David Put, vehicle dynamics specialist of Ford of Europe.

The grinning Belgian has done a big chunk of the dynamic tuning of the brand-new RS, in addition to right today he’s flicking the auto around the damp curves of the legendary ‘Track 7’ handling circuit at Ford’s Lommel proving ground. in which looks like fun – a lot of fun, actually.

the auto can be cornering flat in addition to fast, pulling with huge torque in addition to proper sports car pace down the short straights, in addition to sounding all growly in addition to interesting. in which much you don’t have to be from the driver’s seat to tell. although watching Put’s measured inputs carefully, you can see – in addition to feel – exactly what he’s so chuffed about.

the auto’s initial handling response in addition to lateral grip levels look considerable; David’s not having to do much at all to get the front wheels running towards apex after apex. although in which’s what happens mid-corner, as he begins to feed power back in, in which truly surprises. There’s a smaller although perceptible nudge coming from the outside rear wheel; a friendly little tweak of not just traction although handling impetus, producing the auto both speed up in addition to turn in at the same time.

Where different all-paw hatches could be beginning to lose their poise, bothering their ESP in addition to running wide as the transmission sends drive first to the harder-working front wheels, the Focus stays neutral. in addition to then in which begins to blend into power-on oversteer, as Put unwinds the steering angle in addition to applies a delicate correction.

Four-wheel-drive hot hatchbacks just don’t do in which – not in in which tester’s experience. You can chuck a VW Golf R or a Mercedes A45 AMG into a transient slide by unloading the rear axle, although what happens when you come back onto the pedal tends to be all very boring in addition to predictable.

in which – in which could seem coming from the passenger seat, at any rate, in addition to judging by both the smile on my co-driver’s face in addition to what the ‘seat of my pants’ can be telling me – can be a four-wheel-drive performance hatch in which you can accelerate into a powerslide – in which you can steer on the throttle, in different words, like a proper rear-driver. Praise be.

My need to drive the brand-new Focus RS only gets more urgent after in which revelation, although in which isn’t going to be addressed today. We’re here for an advanced passenger-seat preview only – in addition to an up-close-in addition to-personal review on the engineering effort in which has gone into one of the most eagerly anticipated affordable driver’s cars of the past few years.

Among the first things to be announced about in which brand-new hot Focus was in which in which’d be four-wheel drive – just like its 1990s forebear, the memorable Escort RS Cosworth. in which was among the very first decisions taken by the Ford Performance engineering team, in addition to you can read all about the pioneering technology behind the drive system here.

We knew back at the Geneva motor show in which year in which the four-wheel drive system in question could have a ‘drift’ mode – in addition to in which in which could therefore have to be something inherently more trick than the Haldex-coupled norm. We also knew in which the RS could develop a formidable-sounding 345bhp.

What wasn’t known was in which Ford’s prototypes weren’t quite producing in which much power back then. The target has been achieved since, of course; in which had to be. although using Ford’s 2.3-litre Ecoboost Mustang engine as a basis, in which has taken a whole brand-new Cosworth-milled cylinder head in addition to gasket, brand-new cylinder liners, brand-new induction in addition to exhaust systems, a completely brand-new twin-scroll turbocharger in addition to the largest radiator in which could be squeezed into the front of the Focus’s engine bay to achieve in which.

Ford freely admits in which its emphasis was on delivering the auto to market for an outstanding cost as much as anything – in addition to in which some opportunities for saving weight have been passed up. So the auto weighs a hefty 1599kg wet, including the EU’s mandatory 75kg for driver in addition to luggage. The four-wheel drive system contributes an undisclosed amount of mass compared with front-wheel drive.

A dual-clutch automatic gearbox could have brought the 0-62mph sprint down a bit coming from where in which currently sits (4.7sec), although could also have added another 30kg to the auto – not to mention four figures to the asking cost. Besides which, if you option the 19in forged wheels in addition to Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres on the auto, the Focus RS can be considerably faster-accelerating than the the’s claim.

The four-wheel drive system forced a switch to a different C1-platform rear subframe, which was originally developed some years ago for Volvo – although in order to deliver the rigidity required to handle the forces put through the rear end of the Focus, in which’s been braced against the Centeng-in-white in three separate directions on each side.

Above in which, the auto’s Centeng structure itself has also been reinforced. If you could lift the boot lining, you’d see a thick band of steel designed into the sheet metal, running between the rear suspension towers, in which Ford has christened a ‘lion’s foot’. Local torsional stiffness has been increased by as much as 0%.

The RS has four drive modes, ranging coming from Normal at the tame end of the dynamic spectrum to Drift at the wilder end. As David cycles through them, I can feel the dual-rate Tenneco dampers firming up – the ride having began out firmer than, say, a VW Golf R, although still entirely possible to live with. in which ends up probably too firm for British B-roads although about perfect for a fairly smooth, low-kerbed track.

Although the RS runs with more negative camber on its front axle than the Focus ST, in addition to with 30% stiffer springs, its overall ride height can be about the same. Its power steering can be slightly quicker overall than the ST’s, says David – although they’ve junked the variable ratio of the ST for a more predictable fixed one. “With the handling effect of the four-wheel drive system, you just don’t need in which extra help to get the auto turned in,” explains our man.

coming from the passenger seat, in which’s impossible to be certain about exactly how crisp in which turn-in truly can be in addition to how much adjusting of the RS’s cornering line can be done with your right foot – although in which certainly seems to change quite a lot coming from mode to mode. In Track mode, Put can be using no corrective lock at all. although he’s also not afraid to open the taps on the engine’s overboosted 347lb ft of torque long before he’s taken the lateral cornering load out of the tyres – in addition to he doesn’t seem to be contending with any limiting understeer at all.

Later, back in Drift mode, he’ll demonstrate the potential for surprisingly prolonged powerslides around the consistent radius of one of Lommel’s steering pads. in which’s quite something to experience – not quite donut after lock-stop-hitting donut although equally, I suspect, something much more akin to the controllability in addition to rear-drive feeling you get coming from an Audi R8 than an RS3.

The impression stuck in my head as I climb out of the auto can be one of what, I’m confident enough to predict, must be a remarkable-handling in addition to involving hot hatchback – one of Ford’s greatest yet. in which, in addition to the outline of several digits in addition to a symbol, lingering like the halo of a bright light scorched onto your retinas: £28,940. Less than a Honda Civic Type R, less than a Golf R, less than a BMW M135i – all of them considerably less powerful in addition to, on very limited evidence, admittedly, less dynamically talented.

in which’s 1600 confirmed UK orders in addition to counting, folks. Let the stampede commence.

Ford Focus RS

cost £28,940; Engine 4cyls, 2261cc, turbo, petrol; Power 345bhp at 6000rpm; Torque 325lb ft at 2000-4500rpm (347lb ft on overboost); 0-62mph 4.7sec; Top speed 165mph; Gearbox 6-spd manual; Kerb weight 1599kg; Economy 36.7mpg (combined); CO2/tax band 175g/km, 30%

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