We're big fans of the Ford Focus RS. In fact, when we first drove it, we went so far as to call it a track car disguised as a practical hatchback. It's affordably priced, a blast to drive, and unlike other hot hatches, offers a special drift mode for when you want to hang the tail out. But as popular as drift mode is, it wasn't originally intended to be a feature.
, including drift mode was entirely unplanned. Ford Performance vehicle and engineering manager Tyrone Johnson told the Australian outlet that, while testing the GKN-supplied all-wheel-drive system, engineers figured it out by accident.
As Johnson told Motoring, when his dynamics and calibration guys were messing around with the system, they realized they could adjust the rear bias and stability control to allow big drifts. And while it was certainly cool, they didn't think drift mode was actually worth adding.
In fact, when they first showed it to Raj Nair, Ford's global technical and development chief, they didn't think it was anything more serious than "a nice little trick." Nair, however, saw the potential.
"It was actually Raj who said 'we have got to market this. This is a cool feature. We need to make this a prominent part of the program, as opposed to a side note,'" said Johnson.
And the rest is history. Sweet, smoky, tail-happy history.