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Ken Block tries his hand at the Ford Focus RS: This is how it works

Ken Block tries his hand at the Ford Focus RS
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W what was the anticipation: Ford wanted let us try out the drift mode of the new Focus RS on the racetrack in Valencia, Spain. But not only that - Ford would also invite the living drifting legend Ken Block to this date. So the man who has dominated the cross-drivers scene like no other in recent years.

First, the housewives drift in the Ford Focus RS

His high-speed drift through San Francisco will not be forgotten. Fourth corridor full, concrete on the left, also on the right. Smoke on all four wheels. Fast, really fast. Incredible, this vehicle control, this contempt for death. And we should meet this maniac - for a kind of instruction: Profi Block finally shows amateur Peters how to REALLY drift.

The systems of the Ford Focus RS seem ideal. Long before the appointment, Ford published videos on which the compact sports car actually slides through the area with smoke on the chain. So it doesn't just slip a bit like some all-wheel drive vehicles are forced to do. No, a real drift.

First, Ford lets us practice a housewife drift: a circular path in first gear. It is enough to turn in and accelerate so that the all-wheel drive stands transversely and it stays with strong gas. Two rounds to the left, two to the right. Smoke rises, wonderful. A quick sense of achievement - but that's not really drifting (see drifting instructions).

So after a long break, we stand in the pit lane and wait for the first lap. How was the route again? No idea. So drive on sight. Accelerate out of the pit lane with momentum up to third gear, then turn into the fast left. Juchheirassa, the stern swings out. Not yet spectacular, but that's the first bend, there should be more in the following ones.

Course in Spääääääätbremsen

The next is a second gear left. Braking, load shifting, turning in and ... the Ford Focus RS understeers. Great, that was nothing. Same thing in the next corner, another left. Zefixnoamal! Ken help what am I doing wrong? The next right must direct it in third gear. And in fact: the rear flies off quite jagged, even making it necessary to counter-steer with changing grip. Well, finally, go. Now only smoke should rise.

The following bend runs under againBig gun, but the next but one looks promising. Has it at least smoked in the back? In the coming bends, understeer and oversteer alternate cheerfully, with the drift angles becoming significantly larger and counter-steering no longer just a brief twitch. Nevertheless: It has to be even more spectacular! Round three ends with a break in the pit lane. Waiting for the drift star, the savior, who will show us how it's done properly.

He comes, sits in the driver's seat. Handshake, small talk, short explanation: We are hobby drifters and would like a few tips from the master. Off we go. He takes the quick left after the pit exit quite nicely. It’s going to be great. Accelerate, brake, turn into the left - uuuuuuun ... No, the uuuuuuun ... does not turn into an 'and', but understeer. It can happen to the best driver. In the next one too, unfortunately. And in the ... hm, the stern doesn't really want to fly. Not even with the professional, which makes him a little perplexed. This Ford Focus RS here would be quite understeer, says Ken then. The load could have been changed better before. Maybe the tires, maybe too cold. Confused, he scratches his head and drives back into the pit lane.

We force him to do a second lap, but he no longer shows much enthusiasm. At least the tires are warm now. This would eliminate this hindrance factor. But to cut a long story short: In lap two, Mr. Block did not manage to make any spectacular cross sticks with smoke signals. The brakes are probably smoking after the second lap because they have been overused; the celebrity is at least giving a course in Spääääääätbremsen.

Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 too handy

Much is After that, Ken cannot be extracted, he is getting more and more lazy in the mouth, seems to be very acidic. So here is a brief attempt at explanation by the author: For the presentation on the Valencia race track, Ford put the Focus RS, which is inherently gifted with drifting, on street-legal sports tires Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2; these are optional and they are ideally suited for tenth hunting on circuits. But not for drifting - they simply build up an enormous amount of grip and allow the RS to slide over the front axle in the limit area.

The Ford Focus RS would need more torque to lever the rear axle with the semi-slicks. So even more than the 470 Nm in overboost. Or, alternatively, a handbrake that bites harder, Ken Block's favorite utensil. This could force the rear end to break away.

The Michelin Super Sport, including the less ambitious adhesive mixture, on the other hand, should be much more drift-friendly on the RS. This is probably how the spectacular Ford promotional videos with real smoke on the chain came about. Like the transverse position in principle with a rear-biased oneAll-wheel drive or a pure rear-wheel drive works, by the way, shows the following drift school (bottom).


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