Why Was Focus RS FWD, Not 4WD?
Following the insight into why the Fiesta RS has been canned, Jost Capito has also explained why the Focus RS ended up as front-wheel-drive instead of the anticipated four-wheel-drive.
According to Capito, director of the Focus RS project, the original design brief was for the Focus to be four-wheel-drive. However, when he got the chance to drive the first 280bhp prototype he was not impressed. The additional 150kg of the all-wheel-drive transmission blunted the performance of the car, and in Capito’s opinion it didn’t feel special enough to carry the ‘RS’ badge.
It was at this point, early in the project, that the decision was made to go for front-wheel-drive and find a method of taming the torque-steer that would be a by-product of the enormous torque generated by the 2.5-litre engine. This led to the design of the RevoKnuckle suspension design, which helps improve traction by ensuring that the outside wheel always has negative camber when lock is applied.
Capito’s brave decision to choose FWD has been borne out, as the Focus RS seems to be picking up praise in all of the motoring publications. The car is also flying out of the showrooms and dealers are saying that due to massive demand customers ordering now will have to wait until September at the earliest to receive their car. With only 8000 units being produced and 4000 of those coming to the UK, you can expect the order book to be full before long and second-hand prices to remain strong for some time.
Source: EVO Magazine 130, Autocar