While Ford has remained mostly quiet about its next-generation Focus RS model, the American automaker recently threw out a hint that the hot hatch could get an active front limited-slip differential to help control torque steer.
For the most part, Ford has remained mum about its ultimate hot hatch except that the automaker would like to hit 350 hp in the front-wheel drive model. But in a recent interview, Len Urwin, powertrain engineering manager for Ford’s European performance division Team RS, spoke about how an active differential could help minimize torque steer on a next-generation RS.
Urwin recently traveled to Sweden and tested an active differential manufactured by GKN, which also builds the active differentials for the BMW M models. Coming away impressed, Urwin went on the record stating that it worked better than he expected and it’s on the list of things for consideration on the next Focus RS.
Another benefit of an active differential is that while being a mechanical unit it also employs electronics to detect slip even before it happens.
Currently Ford utilizes a fully electronic unit on the Focus ST, slowing the inside wheel in a corner using the brakes. That car also uses an innovative electronic steering rack to reduce the feel of torque steer transmitted to the driver.
Regardless of the unit used in the production model, there’s no guarantee a Focus RS model would ever make its way to America.