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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
courtesy @KesCoop

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FROM about April onwards a strange phenomenon will emerge

By Mark Forsyth, 24th January 2016

Objects looking like black crop circles will mysteriously appear on large expanses of tarmac such as Tesco, Morrisons and Asda car parks.

Y’see the new Focus RS – a 350bhp, all-wheel-drive yob of a car – comes with a button to allow it to drift like a champ.

You will have the guiding, invisible hand of advanced traction control to help you through.

But this is only one of its tricks. Riding on optional 19in forged alloys (£600) and ridiculously grippy Michelin tyres you will also be able to generate more than 1G of lateral grip.

That’s the sort of force that changes the shape of your face…and your stomach contents.

Press the middle pedal hard and the gargantuan Brembo brake calipers create similar forces but in the fore and aft plane.

Depress the right pedal and the twin scroll turbocharger produces the sort of relentless thrust normally associated with gut-churning fairground rides.

It’s a full-on assault on the senses. And the noise is all part of the fun.

There are four selectable driving modes – Normal, Sport, Track and Drift.

In anything but Normal the RS changes its exhaust note (also its steering speed, suspension settings and throttle sensitivity) to a banging, snapping, crackling, popping affair the instant you lift off the gas.

I’m praying none of my neighbours plans on buying an RS, especially those who work shifts. It’s loud enough to make cyclists and pedestrians jump.

This car has been more than two years in the making and it really shows in one particular area.

Weirdly, it’s none of the above. For such a stupidly fast machine it is practically impossible to crash.

On the edge of grip and disaster, where you mis-read the severity of corner or are perhaps too ambitious with the application of power midturn, the Focus RS doesn’t so much communicate as shout at you…through a megaphone!

The feedback is massive. That GKN four-wheel drive system is a work of art.

Ford’s brains have built in the feel of a rear-wheel drive car but with the benefits of four-wheel drive.

Push hard into a corner and it will understeer. But this is easily rectified by applying power to tighten your line.

On road or track you find yourself driving it like a rear-wheel drive car, controlling the floaty, predictable balance on the throttle.

Up to 70% of torque can be delivered to the rear wheels. Or just one rear outside wheel if that is what’s needed to help it tighten its line.

With so much advanced (but unobtrusive) traction control assistance it really does f atter even the most ham-fisted driver (waves hello).

You can absolutely nail the gas on the exits of corners and the invisible hand of God (traction control and torque splitting diffs between left and right and front to back wheels) makes you look every inch the demon helmsman.

It’s been much discussed and admired on geeky web forums the world over. I guess the RS’s ace card isn’t outright performance – something it has by the skip-full (and for the money – nothing gets close) – it’s balance and poise. Oh, and “uncrashability”.

There are two downsides. Well, there had to be some. She’s a bit of a cakey pig. At 1.6 tonnes, this five-door hatchback is going to punish its tyres and brakes if you drive it like we all did for our two-day Spanish test drive.

Three laps of savage lappery was all it took to reduce the front brake pads to a smokey, stinking mess. That’s a BMI issue, right there.

My other complaint is the driving seat is two or three inches too high. That’s it. Those 3,000 people who have pre-ordered can sleep at night because they have bought an amazing car at a knockdown price.

Fans of leasing plans might like to know it can be had for £299 a month. But it might pay to find a cheap source of tyres. You’ll need plenty of them.

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/motoring/cars/489655/Ford-Focus-RS-review
 

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First review I've seen that mention brake issues after prolonged heavy use. Hopefully aftermarket pads and upgraded fluids (wonder what fluids come stock?) will fix the issue for those who plan to track the car for extended periods, a bit concerned with the comment though as I know Ford spent time making sure the brakes were up to the task. I know the track they were testing on is a motocross track so maybe there just wasn't long enough straights to allow the brakes to get proper downtime/cool off. Don't plan to track the car too often or too hard so not a huge concern for myself but luckily brakes are generally an easy upgrade. On a side note looks like the RS and myself have one more thing in common a BMI issue, at least we can be diet buddy's.
 

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Or maybe another journalist (or 8 others, sequentially) had just finished their laps, so that it was at the 40-minutes-of-hot-laps mark.

Jim
 

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I think they all had their own cars
 

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One of the stories mentioned how it worked at the track and they were definitely using like one car for every group of 6-8 drivers. So each car got thrashed and multiple sets of tires.

Jim
 

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Wow another superb review. Thnx you.

My favorite quotes:

I’m praying none of my neighbours plans on buying an RS, especially those who work shifts. It’s loud enough to make cyclists and pedestrians jump.

+
Push hard into a corner and it will understeer. But this is easily rectified by applying power to tighten your line.

:)
 

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^ That last comment was in the Autoweek review as well. Hopefully it's not a major nose-plougher on turn-in....
 

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Something to consider about the understeer and brakes is that the reviewer openly describes himself as "ham fisted" this tells me he wasn't exactly the smoothest operator in terms of brake modulation and steering input, which would go far to explain the understeer and brake smoke he experienced. I imagine someone who waited until the absolute last moment to brake, applying maximum pressure right before the corner (smoking brakes) and throwing the car in without any trail braking to keep the nose dug in (understeer). With the type of car this is and the varying skill level and experience of these reviewers, dissenting opinions about how it handles track duty are a guarantee. The more skilled track drivers will be smoother and more controlled, yielding more favorable reviews of the balance and handling. The RS is such an adaptable and well-balanced vehicle that it is literally entirely up to who is driving it to determine how it will perform.
 

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I liked what they said about the interior :watermelon:

Is this the most positive :positive: review so far ? :smiley_simmons:

YMMV,

MidCow3
 
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