2016 Ford Focus RS – passenger ride
Source : 2016 Ford Focus RS – passenger ride
Ford’s brand brand-new hot hatchback will be powered by a 2.3-litre Ecoboost engine with 345bhp, along with we’ve been for a first ride
“I worked my ass off to make the item do that will,” says the man to my left. ‘the item’ will be the hot hatch of the moment, the brand-brand-new Ford Focus RS. along with the man talking about the item – driving the item, typically enthusiastically – will 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, along with right right now he’s flicking the auto around the damp curves of the legendary ‘Track 7’ handling circuit at Ford’s Lommel proving ground. the item looks like fun – a lot of fun, actually.
the auto will be cornering flat along with fast, pulling with huge torque along with proper sports car pace down the short straights, along with sounding all growly along with interesting. that will much you don’t have to be inside driver’s seat to tell. yet watching Put’s measured inputs carefully, you can see – along with feel – exactly what he’s so chuffed about.
the auto’s initial handling response along with lateral grip levels look considerable; David’s not having to do much at all to get the front wheels running towards apex after apex. yet the item’s what happens mid-corner, as he begins to feed power back in, that will actually surprises. There’s a little yet perceptible nudge via the outside rear wheel; a friendly little tweak of not just traction yet handling impetus, producing the auto both speed up along with turn in at the same time.
Where different all-paw hatches would certainly be beginning to lose their poise, bothering their ESP along with running wide as the transmission sends drive first to the harder-working front wheels, the Focus stays neutral. along with then the item begins to blend into power-on oversteer, as Put unwinds the steering angle along with applies a delicate correction.
Four-wheel-drive hot hatchbacks just don’t do that will – not in This specific tester’s experience. You can chuck a VW Golf R or a Mercedes A45 AMG into a transient slide by unloading the rear axle, yet what happens when you come back onto the pedal tends to be all very boring along with predictable.
This specific – the item would certainly seem via the passenger seat, at any rate, along with judging by both the smile on my co-driver’s face along with what the ‘seat of my pants’ will be telling me – will be a four-wheel-drive performance hatch that will you can accelerate into a powerslide – that will 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 that will revelation, yet the item isn’t going to be addressed today. We’re here for an advanced passenger-seat preview only – along with an up-close-along with-personal review on the engineering effort that will 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 This specific brand-new hot Focus was that will the item’d be four-wheel drive – just like its 1990s forebear, the memorable Escort RS Cosworth. that will was among the very first decisions taken by the Ford Performance engineering team, along with you can read all about the pioneering technology behind the drive system here.
We knew back at the Geneva motor show This specific year that will the four-wheel drive system in question would certainly have a ‘drift’ mode – along with that will the item would certainly therefore have to be something inherently more trick than the Haldex-coupled norm. We also knew that will the RS would certainly develop a formidable-sounding 345bhp.
What wasn’t known was that will Ford’s prototypes weren’t quite producing that will much power back then. The target has been achieved since, of course; the item had to be. yet using Ford’s 2.3-litre Ecoboost Mustang engine as a basis, the item has taken a whole brand-new Cosworth-milled cylinder head along with gasket, brand-new cylinder liners, brand-new induction along with exhaust systems, a completely brand-new twin-scroll turbocharger along with the largest radiator that will could be squeezed into the front of the Focus’s engine bay to achieve the item.
Ford freely admits that will its emphasis was on delivering the auto to market for an outstanding cost as much as anything – along with that will 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 along with luggage. The four-wheel drive system contributes an undisclosed amount of mass compared with front-wheel drive.
A dual-clutch automatic gearbox would certainly have brought the 0-62mph sprint down a bit via where the item currently sits (4.7sec), yet would certainly 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 along with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres on the auto, the Focus RS will be considerably faster-accelerating than the maker’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 – yet in order to deliver the rigidity required to handle the forces put through the rear end of the Focus, the item’s been braced against the Centeng-in-white in three separate directions on each side.
Above that will, 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, that will 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 via 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 started off out firmer than, say, a VW Golf R, yet still entirely possible to live with. the item ends up probably too firm for British B-roads yet 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, along with with 30% stiffer springs, its overall ride height will be about the same. Its power steering will be slightly quicker overall than the ST’s, says David – yet 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 that will extra help to get the auto turned in,” explains our man.
via the passenger seat, the item’s impossible to be certain about exactly how crisp that will turn-in actually will be along with how much adjusting of the RS’s cornering line can be done with your right foot – yet the item certainly seems to change quite a lot via mode to mode. In Track mode, Put will be using no corrective lock at all. yet 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 – along with 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. the item’s quite something to experience – not quite donut after lock-stop-hitting donut yet equally, I suspect, something much more akin to the controllability along with rear-drive feeling you get via an Audi R8 than an RS3.
The impression stuck in my head as I climb out of the auto will be one of what, I’m confident enough to predict, must be a remarkable-handling along with involving hot hatchback – one of Ford’s greatest yet. that will, along with the outline of 5 digits along having 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 along with, on very limited evidence, admittedly, less dynamically talented.
the item’s 1600 confirmed UK orders along with 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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