The 2016 Ford Focus RS is a fantastic hot hatchback that offers plenty of performance at a very respectable price. £31,000 gets you 345 BHP, 0-62 MPH in just 4.7 seconds thanks to all wheel drive, and a top speed of 165 MPH. All of that whilst seating five and fitting the shopping in the boot. By now I’m sure you are all well aware of what the RS can do, including its “drift mode” party trick. Now some people in Australia, for want of a better phrase, are losing this shit over this.
For clarity it isn’t just Australians, nor is it the majority of people. I think what really kicked over a lot of dominoes was John Cadogan’s video where he gets pretty vexed about the Focus RS being equipped with drift mode. Watch his video for the full rant, but in a nutshell, he thinks it is irresponsible of Ford to put this function into the car (regardless if it is stipulated for track use only) because one day some idiot will use it on the road and potentially hurt someone. I can totally see what he is getting at, but he goes on further to put Ford in the dock and says they should also be responsible for how their customers use their cars because they tempted them. That’s the part where I disagree…
If you are going to say that Ford should not put drift mode in the car because it encourages driving that could be dangerous, you also need to take this issue up with just about every manufacturer under the sun. How many performance cars have a sport button, or race mode, or launch control? Each of these features are designed primarily to enhance the output of the car in one way or another, and if we were to tarnish every brand with the same RS damning brush then who’s to say that Race Mode is any less tempting than drift mode. Moreover, that logic would also outlaw any car with more than 150BHP as the additional power could be said to encourage people to speed.
Hopefully you can see what I’m getting at. Yes, it is a mathematical certainty that someone will crash a 2016 Ford Focus RS whilst using drift mode, but it is no more likely than an individual colliding with a lamppost in their rear wheel drive Toyota GT86 whilst showing off to their friends.