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The Blue Oval once said they could gift the Focus RS with all-wheel drive, but it wouldn't make financial sense. However, that was back in the days of the MK II Focus and now with the global Ford Performance offensive, the Mk III Focus RS can play the AWD game.

The 350 hp manic hatch even comes with a feature aimed at making up for all the waiting, namely a Drift Mode. While the driver gets to play with a Drift button, the magic lies in the all-wheel drive magic under the car, which is supplied by GKN engineering.

If the name Twinster sounds familiar, it's not because of a typo, but probably thanks to the fact that we've already seen the system at work on cars such as the Range Rover Evoque.

Nonetheless, as GKN explains for Car Magazine, the system gained a shenanigan-friendly feature for Ford - torque vectoring.

First of all, we have to explain the hardware has said "no" to differentials, employing a pair of electronically-controlled clutch packs. These are packed on the sides of what is called a Rear Drive Unit.

The first clutch pack feeds the rear axle with power and can deliver as much as 70 percent of the torque to the rear. As for its brother, this splits the power between the rear wheels.

More and more carmakers introduce braking-based torque vectoring nowadays, with the inside wheel being slowed down during a bend, the system used here is more effective. That's because up to 100 percent of the rear power can be sent to the wheel on the outside of the corner.

‘[In the Ford] if you’re going into a turn and you really want to have the vehicle’s rear end sliding into oversteer, what the system does is to send more torque and speed to the outside rear wheel to get that effect,’ Ray Kuczera, GKN’s vice president of global product technology told the aforementioned source. ‘And that’s before you press the drift button.’

As a result, switching from Normal to Drift Mode will push your slip angles from decent to "whoa!".

Sure, you can disable the electronics on many cars and slide the hell out of that rear end. Nevertheless, another clever move of the Rs is that this car made sure the Twinster, the ESC and the ABS work as a theme. This means you won't spin even if you brain goes into "idiot" mode.

"It allows you to do much more extreme manoeuvres than a standard car, but it’s not going to let you go crazy – you are still not Ken Block!" Ray added.

Speaking of the Gymkhana man, you can check out the two clips below, which show him manhandling the 2016 Focus RS. While the first brings the hot hatch to the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the second follows Block's Gymkhana routine a bit closer.

And yes, it does seem the Focus is much more Evo than STI, if we may call it that.


2016 Ford Focus RS Drift Mode Explained: How Sideways Can You Go? - Video - autoevolution
 

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Good read.

I'm curious what tires were being run in all the videos of the RS drifting such as above. PSS are pretty damn sticky street tires and they definitely we're using Cup 2's.
 

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Drift fav 1.jpg Drift Fav 2.jpg



With the ST already being a talented hoonigan I can't wait to see how the RS behaves when you poke it with a stick in drift mode!
 

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Haha yeah just a stage 1
 

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Yup. Here's some more skids around turn four at putnam park. Induced with a little flick and/or coming in a little hot and backing off the throttle upon entry

 

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Yeah, I saw a couple of articles about the new AWD LaCrosse. In each of them they were quoting Ray Kuczera from GNK, but none said directly that this was a GKN system. There was no specifics on the system at all. They did mention that it was like the "Evoque" system, with a particular mention of the ability to disconnect the rear. That is, of course, unlike the RS unit.
 

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Yeah, I saw a couple of articles about the new AWD LaCrosse. In each of them they were quoting Ray Kuczera from GNK, but none said directly that this was a GKN system. There was no specifics on the system at all. They did mention that it was like the "Evoque" system, with a particular mention of the ability to disconnect the rear. That is, of course, unlike the RS unit.
The RS unit is perfectly capable of disconnecting the rear wheels if it so pleases. They're just clutches. It's all in the tuning. Unless you mean it has a third clutch to remove the prop shaft from the equation. The RS definitely doesn't have that option but I'm not sure why you would want it.
 

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Regarding the original title of this thread: I had Google translate a German Car Mag/Blog article on their "ride-along" experience. It came up with this interesting quote; "The passenger's view of the route is often through the side windows."
 

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The RS unit is perfectly capable of disconnecting the rear wheels if it so pleases. They're just clutches. It's all in the tuning. Unless you mean it has a third clutch to remove the prop shaft from the equation. The RS definitely doesn't have that option but I'm not sure why you would want it.
Yes, exactly. The Evoque has a full disconnect mechanism that the RS unit does not. It's for the mileage gains. It's unsuitable for the RS due to its .3 sec. "reconnect" time.
 

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I had an odd thought, if in drift mode and the wheel is locked to one side will the brake system apply some brake to that front wheel on inside of turn direction to "assist" the car in rotating around that tire. Ken's snow video made it look like the car was holding a very tight circle.
 

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I had an odd thought, if in drift mode and the wheel is locked to one side will the brake system apply some brake to that front wheel on inside of turn direction to "assist" the car in rotating around that tire. Ken's snow video made it look like the car was holding a very tight circle.
All modes still use brake TQ vectoring, if you are talking about how he was able to do a cyclone that has to do with AWD.

 
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