Ford Focus RS drifts into South Africa


Easily one of the most highly anticipated new models of 2016, Ford officially announced pricing details of its fire-breathing Focus RS last week with the US automaker also confirming that only 300 units would be made available for the local market.

The 30th model to bear the iconic RS badge and also the third generation Focus since the original debuted 14 years ago, the newcomer sees the introduction of a number of new innovations, the most notable being an industry first Drift Mode and Dynamic Torque Vectoring.

Slotting above the ST in the Focus range, the RS, aside from its revised appearance consisting of a new front clip, protruding WRC-inspired rear wing, rear diffuser, adaptive bi-xenon headlights and special 19-inch RS alloy wheels, has been extensively redesigned underneath the skin with the highlight being the aforementioned Drift mode.

Developed with input from World RX and former WRC driver Ken Block, the system, once selected from the available four modes, adjust the standard all-wheel drive (AWD) system to allow an even spread of torque making it possible to carry out a controlled drift.

Dropping the previous RS’ front-wheel drive layout together with a limited slip diff, the new Dynamic Torque Vectoring system with AWD allows for torque to be evenly split between the front and rear axles as well as from side-to-side, although up to 70% can be diverted to the rear wheels.

Engineered to deliver class-leading grip when cornering, the AWD allows for a corner generating force of 1G when taken at speed, while the sport suspension features the same two-mode switchblade damper as the ST, but with new anti-roll bars, stiffer springs, optimised front suspension knuckle design and shorter steering links.

Along with a returned electric power steering setup, the RS features Lunch Control specially configured to the AWD system and chassis as to prevent minimal wheel spin when taking off from a standing start.

Power-wise, the previous Volvo-sourced 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine makes for the same 2.3-litre EcoBoost turbocharged engine used in the Mustang, but upgraded to produce 257 kW and 440 N.m of torque although an overboost function allows for 470 N.m to be generated for 15 seconds.

As with its predecessors, the RS can only available be specified with a six-speed manual gearbox with Ford claiming it would accelerate from standstill to 100 km/h in 4.7 secs and onto to a top speed of 266 km/h. Fuel consumption is rated at 7.7 L/100 km and emissions at 175 g/km.

A five year / 100 000 km service plan is included in the Focus RS’ R699 900 sticker price.