Own Correspondent
2 minute read
16 Feb 2015
11:00 am

Performance is Ford’s Focus

Own Correspondent

The Focus RS – equipped with a special 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine engineered to produce in excess of 240kW – is the latest vehicle to be unveiled as part of a new era of Ford performance that will bring more than 12 such vehicles to global customers by 2020.

The all-new Focus RS exploits the innovative new Ford performance All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) with dynamic torque vectoring to deliver a new level of handling capability and driver enjoyment, combining outstanding traction and grip with unmatched agility and cornering speed.

The AWD 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 also can control the side-to-side torque distribution on the rear axle – delivering the “torque vectoring” capability, which has a dramatic impact on handling and cornering stability.

The control unit in the rear drive continuously varies the front/rear and side-to-side torque distribution to suit the driving situation, monitoring inputs from multiple vehicle sensors 100 times per second. A maximum of 70% of the drive torque can be diverted to the rear axle. Up to 100% of the available torque at the rear axle can be sent to each rear wheel.

During cornering, the rear drive unit pre-emptively diverts torque to the outer rear wheel immediately, based on inputs such as steering wheel angle, lateral acceleration and speed. This has the effect of “driving” the car into the bend, achieving improved turn-in and stability and virtually eliminating understeer.

The AWD system has been tuned to deliver exceptional grip and class-leading cornering speed and acceleration out of a bend. With neutral and adjustable limit handling, plus the ability to achieve controlled oversteer drifts, the Focus RS delivers the ultimate fun-to-drive experience.

To deliver optimum driving dynamics, the AWD system was calibrated alongside the car’s advanced electronic stability control – in particular, the brake-based torque vectoring control system working in parallel with the torque-vectoring AWD.

Other exclusive chassis features include sports suspension with spring rates, bushes and anti-roll bars, and two-mode switchable dampers, which offer a firmer setting for track driving. A carefully tuned electric power-assisted steering system, working in combination with a more rigid front suspension knuckle design and shorter link arms, delivers connected and responsive steering with outstanding feel.

Ford engineers and Michelin developed a choice of high-performance 235/35 R19 tyres to complement the driving dynamics: a standard Pilot Super Sport tyre for everyday use and – for the first time on an RS – an optional Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyre for enhanced dynamics on the track.