Like its predecessors, the third generation Ford Focus RS is intended to be a usable performance car. One obvious consequence of this is that it needs to be able to keep its occupant(s) at the right temperature no matter how fast you may be travelling. Accordingly, the Focus RS comes equipped with Dual Zone Electronic Automatic Temperature Control (DEATC) as standard.
The basic principle behind dual-zone air conditioning (sometimes called climate control) is to enable the driver and front seat passenger to be able to choose the temperature at which air is fed to their side of the car
The DEATC controls are found on the lower part of the RS’s dashboard. The system can be operated using these controls or, as we shall see, by voice.
DEATC is a switchable system. In most situations, it will be switched on but can be switched off by the car’s occupant(s) using an on/off button. When switched off, fresh air will not be drawn into the car through the DEATC system.
The DEATC system follows the usual principles of car heating/air conditioning/climate control systems by allowing the occupant(s) to select the temperature at which air is fed into the cabin and to choose which vents the air flows through. Air can be fed to the windscreen, through the vents on the upper parts of the dashboard or via the ducts in the footwells by pressing the appropriate buttons on the DEATC panel.
A variable speed fan is fitted. Controlled by + and – buttons, the fan enables the volume at which air is circulated to be varied.
The Air conditioning can be switched on or off by pressing the A/C button. As air conditioning units are powered by the engine, using the air conditioning will slightly reduce the performance and fuel economy of the RS. The air conditioning will therefore mostly be used to assist in keeping the interior of the RS cool on hot days and should be switched off when not required.
The Focus RS is fitted with a heated front windscreen, but pressing the MAX DEMIST button (which sets the fan speed and temperature settings to their highest settings) will help to defrost or demist the screen more quickly. Using MAX DEMIST will also help to ensure that the driver and passenger door windows are demisted as rapidly as possible.
Beyond the basics, DEATC offers a choice of various modes and functions.
In AUTO mode, the system keeps the interior of the car at a temperature which has been pre-selected by the driver. The pre-set temperature, shown on the DEATC display panel immediately above the DEATC controls, can be increased or decreased by turning the AUTO knob in the appropriate direction. AUTO mode can be deactivated by holding and pressing the AUTO knob for more than two seconds.
When the system is in AUTO mode, air is fed to the driver and passenger sides of the car at the same temperature. This mode is also known as MONO mode.
As DEATC is a dual zone system, the driver and front seat occupant have the option of being able to
choose the temperature at which air is fed to their side of the car. This mode, known as DUAL ZONE mode, is activated whenever the rotary temperature control of the passenger side of the car is turned. This will automatically deactivate MONO mode. The temperature for the passenger side of the car will increase or decrease accordingly, but the temperature for the driver’s side will be unchanged.
In DUAL ZONE mode, the temperature at which air is fed to the driver’s side of the car can be changed by rotating the AUTO knob. The system allows the temperature to differ between the driver and passenger sides of the cabin by up to 4 degrees Celsius.
MONO mode can be re-engaged by pressing and holding the AUTO knob. When MONO mode is reactivated, the temperature at the passenger’s side will automatically adjust to the setting for the driver’s side of the car.
As the Focus RS is fitted with Ford’s SYNC2 infotainment system, it is possible to operate the DEATC by voice control using a comprehensive set of commands which include commands to raise or lower the temperature, increase or decrease the fan speed, toggle MONO and DUAL ZONE modes and select which vents are to be used.
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