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Aussie Safety Experts Want Ford Focus RS “Drift Mode” Banned

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2016 Focus RS | Ford Fiesta RS Spy Shots

Life just wouldn’t be any fun without the clench of a good ol’ fashioned panic, now would it?

Ford’s new 2016 Focus RS has earned award after award for being the hot hatch to end all hot hatches, but it seems to have only earned the ire of officials in Australia. According to, Aussie road safety experts are less than thrilled with the Focus RS’s selectable drift mode, which does exactly what you think it does and makes people mad for the reasons you think it would.

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Harold Scruby, the unfortunately named head of the Pedestrian Council of Australia, told that he was “absolutely stunned” that the Focus RS is permitted for sale in the country with the technology.

“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.”

The disclaimer to which Scruby refers comes from Ford, who reassured the concerned parties 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.”

Of note is the fact that Ford disabled line lock for the Mustang GT in Australia due to the illegality of burnouts. Drifting in Australia is an offense similar to burnouts in that some states will immediately confiscate vehicles and impose bans on drivers caught trying it.

A report from last month revealed that the Focus RS is such a sales success in Australia that customers can expect to wait 18 months before their orders are fulfilled. Plenty of time to think about the consequences of drifting on public roads!

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