Ford Focus'n in on the Stick Shift and AWD
With the debut of the new Ford Focus RS we've learned that this American car company is paying very close attention to what it's customers want. Ford's VP of Product Development, Raj Nair said that the fans and consumers of turbo-charged hatchbacks love thier manual transmissions, and on that note, Ford says, "Ask and you shall recieve." Manual gearboxes have made it to the new Focus RS. The other most requested feature of the Focus RS? That it be sold in the United States. DONE!
The regular news on the Focus RS has a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine that will produce at least 315 hp and has a six-speed manual. What got us excited was that this will be the company's first vehicle to be equipped with both AWD (the last Focus model was FWD) and Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control. The technology utilizes two electronically controlled clutch packs on each side of the car’s rear drive unit, which govern both front/rear torque split and side-to-side power delivery. Up to 70 precent of the power can go to the rear axle and up to 100 percent of that power can go to just one wheel. To keep the hot hatch on its toes, the control module monitors vehicle sensors 100 times per second.
Depending on steering angle, lateral acceleration, yaw, and speed, it directs varied amounts of torque to the rear outside wheel during cornering. Ford says it is a virtual elimination of understeer and lateral grip of more than 1g. Sounds good to us... as members of the Three Pedal Club ourselves, we can't wait for a test drive.