Ford have used their learnings from the Ford Focus RS MK3’s predecessor and the ST model to inform the upgraded chassis on the third-generation model.
First and foremost, the chassis has been renovated to feature sports suspension with much stiffer spring rates. The suspension system uses improved and efficient bushes to allow the suspension to move liberally.
A stronger anti-roll-bar has also been fitted to the suspension to make cornering and general driving feel a lot steadier. As well as design and technology enhancements, the materials used for the Focus RS chassis have been strengthened.
The main areas of focus were the sub frame and the body, which had to be stiffened to get the whole vehicle system to work together, and for the RS to be able to handle the cars extra cornering loads, and the addition of local reinforcements and bracing. The engine mounts have been re-tuned to supplement add additional torque power.
The static stiffness of the RS torso is nine percent above the Focus ST and 23 percent above the standard Focus. For local attachment areas, the stiffness had an increase of up to 200 in some places (e.g. at the anti-roll-bar attachment point).
Compared with the ST chassis, the RS has a higher degree of negative camber on the front axle, meaning equal loading is applied when the driver is taking a corner. The RS has springs that are 30% stiffer, but the models’ ride height evens out be pretty similar. The power steering on the RS is also just that bit quicker than the ST’s.
Many vehicles these days use variable damper control, which adjusts the suspension according to the road and the driving situation. Instead of using this adaptable system, Ford chose to fit the Focus RS with just two mode-switchable damper settings. (Normal and Sport).
Normal is the standard damping mode for on-road, which is perfectly created for everyday driving, whilst Sport mode has been designed with the racing track in mind. Controlled by a button conveniently positioned on the indicator, Sport mode loosens the traction for optimal control and makes the style of drive increasingly aggressive and dynamic.
The Ford Focus RS MK3’s high-performance aero kit design produces nine percent less aerodynamic drag compared to its predecessor. Dramatic design features include a redesigned front bumper and a functional rear diffuser, giving the RS zero lift at both ends of the vehicle.
The aerodynamic diffuser on the rear-end of the RS was created to reduce road drag and support the driver achieving better downforce. A mounted roof spoiler, low front bumper and wide-open grille are also key features of the MK3 model.
Read more about the Focus RS aerodynamic design.
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