And this is with Drift Mode turned on.
The Ford Focus RS is a five-door performance hatch that is the best of two distinct worlds. Yes, it can play nice waiting in line at McDonald’s with the kids in the back seat. But lay into the loud pedal, and the turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine comes to life. Head out to a wide-open parking lot or autocross course, and you can engage Drift Mode to wow all your friends. Or, you can at least try to impress them as the driver of the RS in this video attempted to do.
There can be several reasons why the driver is having such a hard time initiating drift. It’s clear he’s trying to drift while going through an autocross course. Those are often designed to be fun tests of driving skill and are not always ideal for attempting a drift. The course is also wet, which you’d think would make trying a drift easier. Oh, and before you ask, yes, the driver has Drift Mode turned on.
As you watch the video though, you can see the driver get closer and closer to performing a drift, so part of the battle could be getting used to the course, the driving conditions, and the Focus RS itself. All of which is important to have a handle on before going full drift with barricades, cones, a sizeable grass embankment, and people scattered around. No one wants to wreck their car in front of a crowd. That would be embarrassing.
On paper, the Focus RS should be the anti-drift machine. It has all-wheel drive with its turbocharged 2.3-liter engine making a stout 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. The only transmission available is a six-speed manual, which makes it a fun hot hatch already. Ford’s Drift Mode, though, adds some fancy torque vectoring technology, which can send up to 70 percent of the power to the rear wheels, and 100 percent of that power to either side. Add some counter steering, and the result should be power oversteer – in the right setting.
The video is also a prime example of how a drive mode and some fancy technology won’t turn you into Chris Harris overnight. Drifting still takes skill, and while the driver does improve with each pass, it looks like he’s doing more of a powerslide than a drift. Sorry, you won't be Ken Block by just buying a car.