Ed’s notes

Drift Mode? Now you’re talking. The Focus RS marks a step in an encouraging direction

Dylan Campbell

THREE cheers for the Ford Focus RS! It might not seem like it but “Drift Mode” – a setting optimised for, you guessed it, tyre vaporisation – is a win for product in a thoroughly corporatised car world. If our first drive from p34 is any indication it sounds like it’s no gimmick, either. To me it shows a performance car company in touch with its customers and it’s worth a nod to first Ford Performance, second whoever’s idea it was.

Further to this I wouldn’t at all be surprised if Drift Mode made Ford’s bigwigs readjust themselves in their seats a little. Corporate responsibility, and cultivating a careful image of product safety, are two things toward Drift Mode makes no contribution. Bravo. And encore.

And it bespeaks a law of the performance car jungle, that excitement will find its way into enthusiast products like water finds its level.

I can name a disappointingly many performance cars that have lost sizzle with a new generation. They’re normally faster and more polished, but often less exciting and fun. And so they become exposed to rivals not as accomplished, but the better entertainers.

And I don’t know about you, but I’m almost preferring these cars nowadays. I hope I’m not alone, because if we are numerous, car companies will keep chasing our business. There’s no surer market feedback than sales – and hopefully this only leads to more performance cars engineered for fun.

Further, I hope this bolsters the employability of engineers who are the same as you and I. How can you have a proper clue what a performance customer wants if you aren’t one yourself?

Car companies hiring engineers to create performance cars would do well to ask candidates what their favourite road is and what they’ve got parked in the garage. Alarm bells should ring if on either question there’s hesitation.

And those already employed, who dream up ideas like Drift Mode, need prompt promotion. y ne