2016 Ford Focus RS – passenger ride
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, along with we’ve been for a first ride
“I worked my ass off to make that will do that will,” says the man to my left. ‘that will’ can be the hot hatch of the moment, the brand-brand new Ford Focus RS. along with the man talking about that will – driving that will, 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, along with right currently he’s flicking the automobile around the damp curves of the legendary ‘Track 7’ handling circuit at Ford’s Lommel proving ground. that will looks like fun – a lot of fun, actually.
the automobile can 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 within the 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 automobile’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 that will’s what happens mid-corner, as he begins to feed power back in, that will genuinely surprises. There’s a little yet perceptible nudge through the outside rear wheel; a friendly little tweak of not just traction yet handling impetus, creating the automobile both speed up along with turn in at the same time.
Where additional all-paw hatches would likely 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 that will 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 kind of 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 kind of – that will would likely seem through 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’ can be telling me – can be a four-wheel-drive performance hatch that will you can accelerate into a powerslide – that will you can steer on the throttle, in additional 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 that will 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 kind of brand new hot Focus was that will that will’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 kind of year that will the four-wheel drive system in question would likely have a ‘drift’ mode – along with that will that will would likely therefore have to be something inherently more trick than the Haldex-coupled norm. We also knew that will the RS would likely develop a formidable-sounding 345bhp.
What wasn’t known was that will Ford’s prototypes weren’t quite creating that will much power back then. The target has been achieved since, of course; that will had to be. yet using Ford’s 2.3-litre Ecoboost Mustang engine as a basis, that will 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 that will.
Ford freely admits that will its emphasis was on delivering the automobile 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 automobile 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 likely have brought the 0-62mph sprint down a bit through where that will currently sits (4.7sec), yet would likely also have added another 30kg to the automobile – 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 automobile, the Focus RS can be considerably faster-accelerating than the any’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, that will’s been braced against the Centeng-in-white in three separate directions on each side.
Above that will, the automobile’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 through 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 out out firmer than, say, a VW Golf R, yet still entirely possible to live with. that will 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 can be about the same. Its power steering can 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 automobile turned in,” explains our man.
through the passenger seat, that will’s impossible to be certain about exactly how crisp that will turn-in genuinely can be along with how much adjusting of the RS’s cornering line can be done with your right foot – yet that will certainly seems to change quite a lot through mode to mode. In Track mode, Put can 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. that will’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 through an Audi R8 than an RS3.
The impression stuck in my head as I climb out of the automobile can 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 which has 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.
that will’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%
Get the latest car news, reviews along with galleries through Autocar direct to your inbox every week. Enter your email address below:
by via Autocar RSS Feed