Focus RS and Raptor: A tale of two very different off-road heroes
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Focus RS and Raptor: A tale of two very different off-road heroes

This is a discussion on Focus RS and Raptor: A tale of two very different off-road heroes within the News forums, part of the Site News category; Ford's performance hatch and Baja-inspired pickup tackle terrain differently, but with similar results by Derek McNaughton, 2 March 2017 M…CAGLISSE, Que. — They couldn’t be ...

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Thread: Focus RS and Raptor: A tale of two very different off-road heroes

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    Super Moderator Hoonigan's Avatar
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    Focus RS and Raptor: A tale of two very different off-road heroes

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    Ford's performance hatch and Baja-inspired pickup tackle terrain differently, but with similar results

    by Derek McNaughton, 2 March 2017

    M…CAGLISSE, Que. — They couldn’t be more different – each intended for a totally different customer – yet both the Ford Focus RS and Ford Raptor pickup share a common DNA, demonstrated most visibly at an ice-racing track about an hour north of Montreal.

    Up here at Mécaglisse, Quebec, where stubby pines cut the wind with a whisper that foretells of the landscape’s loneliness even at the precipice of spring, this 2017 Ford Focus RS is cracking the quiet as it claws for traction via all four wheels, sending snow into the air and drifting through each corner, as easily as Ken Block does on pavement. That’s mostly because the RS has four drive modes, and ours is set to the one synonymous with the most fun – Drift – and the RS takes care of all the paperwork.

    Really, all the driver has to do is point and shoot this car. It’s that easy. Let the good times roll.

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    The RS achieves its ability to pivot so gracefully through a clever AWD torque vectoring system. Unlike traditional AWD systems, there’s no centre or rear differential in the RS to evenly divide torque duties. Instead, a three-piece driveshaft runs from the front-mounted transmission to a “rear-drive unit,” or RDU. Flanking both sides of this RDU are electronically controlled clutch packs. They open or close, to deliver torque to either the right or left rear wheel, depending on which wheel has more traction, based on sensitive sensors and software that monitor each wheel for slip. The RS’s different drive modes alter the amount of torque and the rate at which torque is increased or decreased, as well as how the torque is biased left and right or front and rear. A “brake-based” torque vectoring system complements the torque vectoring AWD system.

    What that means is the RS, when equipped with winter tires, is more than a three-season sensation. Whether the RS was on this ice course or one of the twisting back roads baked in salt and ice and sand up here, it maintained its balance and composure at all kinds of high speed. More importantly, it maintained its grip – regardless of surface conditions – even on sand-covered asphalt. While the shifter to its six-speed manual could be tighter with less slop, the 2.3-litre turbo-four spools out 350 lb.-ft. of torque. With that much power driving all four wheels, it’s the recipe for happy times.

    The RS is as quick through the countryside as it is confidence-inspiring, which in turn lends itself to some truly awesome driving experiences. The technology behind this car, coupled with its drive modes, suspension settings and tremendous power, make it one of the most pleasing and adaptable backroad storm troopers I have driven for under $50,000 – indeed, even better than some costing more.

    One that does cost much more, the 2017 Ford Raptor that starts at $68,400, proved at Mécaglisse that it too will embrace winter when given the chance. Mécaglisse, a motorsports park in the heart of the Laurentians, is a year-round facility with more than 15 kilometres of tracks of varying description and surface qualities, including a backwoods course suitable enough to challenge even the late, great Mickey Thompson.

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    While the big Raptor might excel at being a Baja ninja, it’s clear from some high-speed jaunts between the pines and spruce that dominate the landscape up here that the Raptor wants to be a rally car. While its specially made BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires are not winter tires per se, they managed the snow with considerable confidence. That’s especially impressive given the Raptor claws its way forward with 450 hp*and 510 lb.-ft. of torque, all the while sounding like a detuned NASCAR stocker.

    Equally impressive is how well the Raptor positively absorbs roads or paths that could destroy the suspension on a lesser truck, while providing a comfort level that should not be possible given such harsh conditions. Thank those new three-inch Fox Racing shocks and new shock towers for that.

    Even out on the paved back roads of Quebec’s countryside, the big Raptor stayed relatively squat in the corners at high speed, especially so in Sport mode, one of six new “terrain management” modes that adjust suspension, throttle, steering and shift points, as well as keep control over the transfer case and locking rear differential.

    Sure, the Raptor can feel heavy at times, and the brakes didn’t have anywhere near the same bite as those on the RS, of course, but the new Raptor and the RS still showed how seriously Ford has embraced performance in its vehicles intended for such use – no matter the weather, the season or the road conditions.

    http://driving.ca/ford/f-150/reviews...ff-road-heroes
    2013 #2008,#349 of 2286 in PB ST2, Panda Tuned, Mountune CBE, CAI, DP, re-circ valve, and Strut Tower Brace, FRPP shifter, K&N filter, Steeda rear sway/strut tower bars, 3M clear bra, WeatherTechs w/ST badges, Zunsport grill kit, Tail of the Dragon decal, Hoonigan crash bar!
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    In the third paragraph what does he mean when he says, "A “brake-based” torque vectoring system complements the torque vectoring AWD system"? I thought the torque vectoring system in the RS used the double clutch pack in the RDU instead of a brake based system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SurfCfl View Post
    In the third paragraph what does he mean when he says, "A “brake-based” torque vectoring system complements the torque vectoring AWD system"? I thought the torque vectoring system in the RS used the double clutch pack in the RDU instead of a brake based system.
    I assume the front wheels are still brake-based torque vector'd.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Greg View Post
    I assume the front wheels are still brake-based torque vector'd.
    I thought the front used an open differential (which I plan on changing to an LSD).

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    One of the best ones I've read in awhile. Only technical bug in my mind was it states that the RDU is flanked by the clutch packs, since the clutch packs are an integral part of the RDU I don't see how they can flank it. But, I do understand what they are saying, but think that "The spool in the RDU is flanked by the clutch packs" would have been more accurate. Do wish they since it sounds like some of the courses there are fixed layout if they were to run the two for times and post them.
    NB RS1 Forged/Winter W&T Package

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    Now that's a brutal chassis shot of the Raptor taming a desert trail.

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    Flat-out across the desert in the new Ford Raptor | Top Gear
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    2013 #2008,#349 of 2286 in PB ST2, Panda Tuned, Mountune CBE, CAI, DP, re-circ valve, and Strut Tower Brace, FRPP shifter, K&N filter, Steeda rear sway/strut tower bars, 3M clear bra, WeatherTechs w/ST badges, Zunsport grill kit, Tail of the Dragon decal, Hoonigan crash bar!
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    Quote Originally Posted by SurfCfl View Post
    In the third paragraph what does he mean when he says, "A “brake-based” torque vectoring system complements the torque vectoring AWD system"? I thought the torque vectoring system in the RS used the double clutch pack in the RDU instead of a brake based system.
    The brake based system works in conjunction with the AWD system.
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    Quote Originally Posted by VaderSS View Post
    The brake based system works in conjunction with the AWD system.
    Thanks! It looks like the traction control is what uses the brake based system.

    Speaking of the ESC, I was autocrossing today and learned that in track mode the ESC is still on even though there is an indicator light that says it's disabled. If you hold down the Disable ESC button while in track mode you will get an information message saying ESC is off. The car can get a little loose while in this mode. I only did one run in that mode and then put in back to normal track mode. I like the car helping me out a little when I get in a tight spot.

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    That's some weak write up for someone given and RS on studs on a playground...........
    Who do they send on these jaunts....
    Not very informative considering the circumstances...

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    Quote Originally Posted by SurfCfl View Post
    Thanks! It looks like the traction control is what uses the brake based system.

    Speaking of the ESC, I was autocrossing today and learned that in track mode the ESC is still on even though there is an indicator light that says it's disabled. If you hold down the Disable ESC button while in track mode you will get an information message saying ESC is off. The car can get a little loose while in this mode. I only did one run in that mode and then put in back to normal track mode. I like the car helping me out a little when I get in a tight spot.
    You're welcome!

    I love having the ability to selectively pick out components of the driving modes and enable or disable them on the RS.

    When driving on the street in a "sporting fashion," I actually run in track mode with the dampers on soft and the traction control fully enabled. That way I get the sport mode AWD, but still have all the nannies working full time. This is actually the first car where I feel the nannies are not too aggressive. The first time I tried track mode, with the ESC in the sport mode, I was surprised at how far I could take a drift. It's quite fun, but apt to attract a bit too much attention in town... Even out in the country on the canyon roads, I still like the intervention of the fully enabled ESC.
    SurfCfl likes this.

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