Rub­bery logic

The Advertiser - Motoring - - CARSGUIDE CONFIDENTIAL -

FORD’S Fo­cus RS ap­pears to have slid un­der the nanny po­lice’s radar. Ford has con­firmed the RS’s Drift mode pro­gram will be in­tact when it ar­rives in Aus­tralian deal­er­ships. That’s sadly not the case with the Mus­tang’s Burnout mode, which is dis­abled here.

Both fea­tures in­volve us­ing soft­ware to heat (or shred — it’s a mat­ter of in­ten­sity) the rear rubber on the per­for­mance cars.

The Mus­tang’s deleted-forAus­tralia burnout func­tion es­sen­tially locks the front brakes once the but­ton is ac­ti­vated.

The car then holds front brake pres­sure when the driver moves the foot from the brake to the ac­cel­er­a­tor, avoid­ing the two-pedal ma­noeu­vre that many can’t mas­ter.

The Fo­cus RS per­forms a po­ten­tially more dan­ger­ous feat in smok­ing the rear tyres while the car is go­ing side­ways.

Here the sta­bil­ity con­trol and the car’s elec­tronic brain mea­sure yaw an­gles, throt­tle pres­sure and wheel spin and keep the rubber fry­ing while avoid­ing a spin.

In the hands of Ken Block, that’s a recipe for an­other vi­ral in­ter­net video. In the hands of the kid around the block, it’s more likely to end in tears (but at $51,000 he’s likely to have boosted or bor­rowed it in the first place).

Ford cites this dif­fer­ence to jus­tify drop­ping one soft­ware pro­gram and keep­ing the other, not­ing the po­ten­tial for abuse in the re­spec­tive ve­hi­cles.

The com­pany line is es­sen­tially the Mus­tang’s burnout func­tion is too eas­ily ac­ti­vated at traf­fic lights when the car is stopped, while drift­ing by def­i­ni­tion in­volves pow­er­ing side­ways at speed and as such is gen­er­ally con­fined to tracks (or in­dus­trial es­tates).

There’s also the fact an­ti­hoon laws specif­i­cally tar­get burnouts with penal­ties of up to 30 days’ con­fis­ca­tion of the ve­hi­cle. And no one wants to see a new Ford de­part­ing on a flat-bed.

Get the drift: 2016 Ford Fo­cus RS

Be­yond reach: Fiat’s 500X won’t reach ninth on our roads

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