Australia’s fun police are reeling over the Ford Motor Company’s latest hot hatch which comes standard with a ‘Drift Mode’.
The driver setting is designed to allow the car to go sideways in a controlled manner much easier.
The local authorities and safety lobby groups however aren’t having a bar of it. As the first car manufacturer to ever feature this mode in a production car, Australian police are convinced that the new 2016 Ford Focus RS will encourage hoons to try this feature on public roads whilst endangering other motorists.
The rally-inspired technology in Ford’s new car works by modifying the torque distribution in the all-wheel-drive system to send more power to the rear wheels. More specifically, extra torque is sent to the outer-rear wheel to cause the car to lose traction and slide.
The Focus RS is currently on sale in Australia and comes with a driver warning that such a feat should only be tried on the race track. A further statement from Ford reiterated that: “Drift mode is targeted for track use only – a disclaimer appears on (the instrument) cluster when switching modes. We believe the drift and track modes are appropriate for racetracks, and that typical Focus RS customers will understand the need to deploy these features under controlled and safe conditions such as during a track day.”
Harold Scruby who is a road safety campaigner for the Pedestrian Council of Australia disagrees. He told news.com.au that he was “absolutely stunned” that the technology was approved for use in Australia.
“A disclaimer is not going to stop an idiot from trying this on public roads,” said Scruby. “We urge Ford to reconsider its decision, recall these vehicles and disable this driving mode. Ford cannot absolve itself from its duty of care to road users and its customers with a disclaimer in the dashboard.”
Australia currently boasts some of the world’s strictest road rules and speed limits are heavily governed by massive fines and loss of license. Those caught drifting in most states can have their cars confiscated along with a 12-month ban for drivers.
Regardless it doesn’t look like they’ll be able to stop the popularity of the Ford Focus RS amongst local enthusiasts.