Ford RS engineering manager confirms new four-wheel-drive system will be rolled out to more cars
Jim Holder
4 February 2015

The new Ford Focus RS’s pioneering four-wheel-drive system will be installed in more cars, it has been confirmed, raising the prospect of Ford launching more performance oriented all-wheel-drive models.

Ford's All-Wheel-Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring system is by far the most significant mechanical upgrade to the Focus RS over previous generations of the car. Both the Focus RS Mk1 and Mk2 were front-wheel drive.

“We’ve done the hard part in developing it to production,” said Tyrone Johnson, RS engineering manager. “It would be fair to suggest that we’ll be looking to use the technology in other ways in the future, having done that.”

The all-wheel-drive system is based around twin electronically controlled clutch packs that are located on each side of the rear-drive unit, which operates like a limited slip differential by using sensors that monitor conditions 100 times per second to split power between the front and back wheels, and on either side of the rear axle.

Torque distribution to the rear axle and each rear wheel is infinitely variable, and 100% of available torque at the rear can be sent to each wheel. On the Focus RS, Ford says this “virtually eliminates understeer”, and that lateral grip in excess of 1G is possible.

Johnson would not be drawn on which cars would get the system next. However, it is unlikely to be the mooted Ford Fiesta RS. Insiders at Ford have already played down the chances of a more powerful version of the Fiesta ST being launched, and a four-wheel-drive system would add cost and weight to such a car.

Get the latest car news, reviews and galleries from Autocar direct to your inbox every week. Enter your email address below:

Our Verdict

Ford Focus RS

Is Ford’s new AWD mega-hatch Focus RS as special as we first thought? And can it beat off stiff competition from the Volkswagen Golf R and Mercedes-AMG A45?

Join the debate

Comments
4

4 February 2015
Seems Ford have done it again,sat back and watched the opposition steal a march on the RS,there are four now Mercedes,VW,Renault and here's the kicker...SEAT!,this new RS isn't on sale just yet,why?,also, it's well down on power,they interior is 50 shades of Greyness,yes,it has AWD now,but why no auto option?.I just hope Ford up the power,i don't think special versions will do,Ford needed to get this right first time, i don't think this is it.

Peter Cavellini.

4 February 2015
How is it to late? It's not like the case of the Mondeo being on sale in America as the Fusion since 2012. Ford have a good chance as they already know what competition is offering. It's going to drive very well as the base does anyway, the Focus is still the best driving hatchback.

The VAG interiors are dull, I have sat in the Golf and found it all very bland. I love to know how many people have used the Focus interior that slate it. I didn't like it when it first came out, but using it is logical and the quality is perfectly fine.

5 February 2015
Jimbbobw1977 wrote:

How is it to late? It's not like the case of the Mondeo being on sale in America as the Fusion since 2012. Ford have a good chance as they already know what competition is offering. It's going to drive very well as the base does anyway, the Focus is still the best driving hatchback.

The VAG interiors are dull, I have sat in the Golf and found it all very bland. I love to know how many people have used the Focus interior that slate it. I didn't like it when it first came out, but using it is logical and the quality is perfectly fine.

Even Ferrari can get a car to market quicker,why show a new car and then say it won't be for sale for 18 months?

Peter Cavellini.

4 February 2015
They could do something a bit different with this car, make it default rear drive and add power to front wheels as needed.? But will they see this option.....

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Jaguar E-Pace P300
    First Drive
    19 November 2017
    Jaguar’s second SUV faces up to the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA. Tough task, so is the E-Pace up to it?
  • Jaguar E-Pace D180
    First Drive
    19 November 2017
    Not the driver’s car many would hope from any car wearing the Jaguar badge, but the E-Pace is an attractive and interesting addition to the compact premium SUV ranks
  • Subaru Impreza
    First Drive
    17 November 2017
    The fifth-generation Subaru Impreza is much improved from top to bottom, but a poor engine and gearbox keep it trailing in this competitive class
  • Ford Fiesta Vignale
    First Drive
    17 November 2017
    We get a first taste of Ford’s poshest Fiesta in turbocharged diesel form
  • Seat Arona
    Car review
    17 November 2017
    Seat is on a roll but can the Arona, its new junior SUV, cut it in such an ultra-competitive class?