Watch former Stig Ben Collins ‘drive like a hooligan’ with the Ford Focus RS’ ‘Drift Mode’

The 2016 Ford Focus RS slides into U.S. dealerships this spring, and when it does, it will undoubtedly be a huge hit. Why? Well, it has 350 horsepower, all-wheel drive, it looks great, and it has a “Drift Mode” button. Need we say more?

In anticipation of the car’s arrival, Ford Europe has released a new video explaining the vehicle’s different drive modes — Normal, Sport, Track, and Drift. To give the breakdown a little more flair, though, the brand hired pro racing and stunt driver Ben Collins. Some say he never drives in a straight line, and that he even blinks sideways. All we know is, he’s called the Stig … or at least he used to be.

The ex-Stig himself puts the car through its paces in the short film, describing that despite it’s massive performance potential, the vehicle acts like a “normal everyday car” in its standard setting. The exhaust is tuned down, the suspension feels gentle, and the steering remains light and free. Scroll to “Sport” and “Track Modes,” however, and the hot hatch flexes its muscles, tightening up the ride, increasing the weight of the steering, and dialing back the traction control to allow the driver to maximize all 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque.

Ford Focus RS

In “Drift Mode,” the fun really begins. Collins takes the Nitrous Blue hatchback to a closed track, where he finally gets to drive like a “hooligan” by throwing the car around corners at all sorts of extreme angles.

The setting lightens up the steering so the driver can work with the wheel more quickly, while also softening the dampers so it’s easier to catch slides when they happen. The AWD system is also recalibrated to ensure smokey sideways fun, resulting in drifts that Collins describes as “effortless.”

For more info on the Focus RS, check out the Rebirth of an Icon playlist on the Ford Performance YouTube channel.


Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.
Product Review

Inside Maserati's Levante SUV beats the heart of a Ferrari

Maserati’s luxury SUV gets a shot in the arm by way of Ferrari-derived V8 power, but is it enough to go toe-to-toe with the established players in the high performance sport-utility segment? Let’s find out.
Product Review

The 2019 Porsche Macan S is a luxurious and quick SUV, but it's no road tripper

The roster of models challenging the Porsche Macan grows annually. The German firm updated its smallest, most affordable SUV with a new engine, more tech features, and subtle design tweaks to keep it looking fresh.
Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.

Thinking of opting for a car with a diesel engine? Here's what you need to know

Modern diesel-powered models prove that it is possible to build a clean, efficient diesel engine without sacrificing performance. Here's what you need to know about diesel cars, and how they differ from gasoline-powered models.

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…

NYC mandates minimum wage for Uber, Lyft, other app-based rideshare drivers

New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a rule that drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft must be paid at least minimum wage, even though they are independent contractors. The new pay rate includes operating costs.

These winter-warrior cars will never leave you out in the cold

Snow can be an absolute pain if your vehicle isn't optimized to handle that sort of terrain. If brutal snowstorms are an annual part of your life, we recommend you pick up one of these winter-ready vehicles.

2020 Toyota Supra caught hiding in a trailer without a shred of camouflage

Toyota's plan to once again lure enthusiasts into showrooms involves bringing back the Supra, one of its most emblematic nameplates. Here's what we know so far about the upcoming coupe, which Toyota is developing jointly with BMW.

LM Industries’ autonomous shuttles head to Phoenix, Sacramento campuses

LM Industries will deploy Olli low-speed autonomous shuttles at school campuses in Arizona and California as part of its ongoing "fleet challenge," which asks local groups to propose uses for autonomous vehicles.

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.
Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.

Hertz speeds up car rentals with biometric scan technology

Biometric security technology that uses face, fingerprint, and voice recognition is gaining traction, with Hertz emerging as the latest company to incorporate it into its daily operations.