You Are Free to Drift


By Klaudia Black

Ford Answers Your Tire Blazing Dreams With "Drift Mode"


Over the past few years, it seems that the auto manufactures of performance cars are finally listening to – the drivers.  We have seen some pretty awesome tech coming through, such as suspensions systems controlled by magnets, optional track tuning keys, factory line-locks, twin disk clutch systems . . . and now Ford has announced with production of the new Ford Focus RS, which will include a “Drift Mode” feature.  Now how fun does that sound?


Powered by a 315 HP 2.3 Twin Turbo Ecoboost motor (Same as in the 2015 Mustang), a 6-speed manual transmission, track tuned suspension, 19” wheels, front spoiler, rear spoiler and diffuser -- and event front brake duct cooling; this car is stacked.  Plus, inside you’ll be sitting in tightly bolstered Recaro covered sport seats, flat bottom steering wheel, and a swarm of gauges above the center console.


So are you ready to drift?  Yes please.  With the RS, the Ford Performance Development team produced an all-wheel drive system to take the car to the next level.  Which includes dynamic torque vectoring, to handle cornering while minimizing understeer.  Wait?  What?  All-wheel drive?  Then how do we drift?


During a recent interview with Ford Engineer Jamal Hameedi, of the Ford Performance Team , gave insight on how the Drift Mode system works.   He says, “The twin-clutch all wheel drive system channels up to 70% percent of the torque to the rear wheels, then up to 100% of the torque to either side, enabling the torque vectoring, and making the car power oversteer.” He continued.



“This system works in conjunction with the Electronic Power steering.  So the computer sees how fast and far the steering is cutting (Yawing) and what you’re doing to catch it.   The more you stay ahead of the car, the more the system will let you rotate the car.  But, if the computer sees you falling behind, and not keep up with the yaw rate, it then steps in to rescue you.” (01)


Overall, the system is designed to work with you, and creates an excellent platform for developing the skills to drift.  Although for those rogue few of you who want the old school experience of a free drift, there is an option to turn off the system.  But as Ford Performance Team Boss Dave Pericak states;  “If you’ve gone as far as we’re going to let you [go], then you probably shouldn’t be going any further . . .  It’s like being a trapeze artist—we’re going to put the safety net underneath you, but you’re still going to have to go up there and perform the stunts yourself.”  (01)


 Happy Drifting! - XOXO, Klaudia



(01) Car and Driver Magazine Blog, Mike Duff, March 4th 2015.,





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