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Ford taps former Stig to demo Focus RS drift mode [Video]

by Justin King

Ben Collins praises the RS\' mannerisms on the street and the track.

Ford has tapped racing driver Ben Collins to demonstrate the Focus RS' drive modes, including the rubber-devouring drift setting.

The high-performance hatchback offers several modes: Normal, Sport, Track and Drift. Each brings different adjustments for the dampers, steering, engine, exhaust, stability control and all-wheel-drive system.

The track setting maximizes engine response and offers the tightest steering and suspension settings, however the drift mode backs off on the dampers and steering settings to provide a better feel when kicking the tail out. The all-wheel-drive system can put up to 70 percent of the torque to the rear wheels.

Ford has previously described the 'drift' mode as an advancement in stability control management, allowing the driver to go well outside the traditional ESC limits but still benefit from electronic intervention. The system attempts to determine if the driver still has the vehicle under control while sliding sideways, rather than stepping in and curtailing the fun as soon as tires begin to squeal. The approach theoretically allows drivers to push the limits without completely disabling stability control.

Ford recently began building the first Focus RS hatchbacks at its factory in Germany. US buyers will get a chance to try out the drive modes later this spring.

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