SEMA 2017

Ford Performance Releases New ‘Drift Stick’ Electronic Handbrake for Focus RS

 
Ford Performance Drift Stick for Ford Focus RS

(Image/Ford Peformance)

Among the many new Ford Focus RS performance parts introduced at the 2017 SEMA Show, Ford Performance’s brand-new Drift Stick is garnering the most attention.

Maybe it’s because the Focus RS is an affordable way to get into a super-capable, all-wheel-drive 345-horsepower turbocharged hatchback.

Maybe it’s because the motorsports discipline of drifting continues to grow in popularity.

Maybe it’s because people are super-into Ken Block’s Gymkhana videos and want to try their hand at making their car dance like Block does.

But people are taking notice. The Focus RS already possesses a Drift mode in which, according to Car and Driver, “more power is sent to the rear axle than typical and apportioned between the left and right rear wheels to enable silly, smoky oversteer.”

The new Ford Performance Drift Stick for the Focus RS allows owners to pull a lever like a parking/emergency brake, and electronically lock up the rear wheels to initiate a drift. Block tested the new drift stick (see video below) and gives it two thumbs up.

“I think it’s really cool that Ford Performance is offering customers a way to create large-angle drifts in the Focus RS,” Block said in a Ford Performance news release. “Obviously it’s something that I’m really passionate about having been a part of the development of the production vehicle, so it’s exciting to see it come to life. It definitely makes the car even more fun to drive.”

Block uses a robust hydraulically actuated rear-axle brake in his stunt and rally cars, but those systems are difficult and labor-intensive to install, and Ford’s new electronic handbrake provides a simpler, easier-to-implement solution.

According to Ford Performance, “The Drift Stick is an aluminum lever between the driver’s seat and manual transmission, which uses the innovative Ford Performance all-wheel-drive system in conjunction with the antilock braking system, opening up the rear-drive unit clutches and applying hydraulic pressure to lock the rear wheels to induce drift with the simple pull of a lever. The results are clutch-free drift turns very similar to the experience of a real rally car.”

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