Technology

The Drift Mode On The Ford Focus RS Was Actually Created By Accident

Ford, please have more of these accidents in the future.

The “Drift Mode” in the all-new Ford Focus RS is perhaps the car’s coolest feature. Scratch that: It’s definitely the hot hatch's coolest feature. It even turns moms into pro drifters! Drift Mode has been widely promoted by Ford, which may lead you to believe that the team behind the Focus RS worked tirelessly to create it. Actually, that’s not the case. In an interview with Motoring, Ford Performance vehicle and engineering manager, Tyrone Johnson, describes the feature as sort of a happy accident that made production.

In fact, Johnson says the team didn’t even plan to work on a mode for drifting. “It wasn’t like that it was more like one of my guys sitting in the car – the lead dynamics guys sitting in the car – and next to him is the guy who is doing the calibration of the all-wheel drive system with a lap-top on his knees,” he told Motoring. Luckily for the world the Ford Performance man describes his team as “a bunch of crazy guys.” These crazy guys tweaked the settings a bit more and Drift Mode was born. “And they are talking and he says ‘oh let me try this out’ and he tries it and he says ‘oh that’s cool can you give me more of that’ and he gives him more and he says ‘that’s really cool’ and then it starts working.”

The team put together Drift Mode but still needed to get the OK from Ford’s global and technical development chief, Raj Nair. Luckily he was completely on board with the idea and pushed for it to become a prominent feature. “And it was actually Raj who said we have got to market this, this is a cool feature. We need to make this a prominent part of the program, as opposed to a side note.” Ford definitely made the right call here as its hot hatch has been in the news for all the right reasons for over a year. People are lining up to get their hands on this car, and we think Drift Mode certainly has something to do with the surge in demand.

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