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Is Ford’s Drift Stick the best or worst idea ever?
You can now have a Ken Block-style rally handbrake in your Focus RS. Careful, now
First Ford launched its fastest Focus, the 345bhp RS, with a Drift Mode. The performance car world rejoiced, and the YouTube servers were bulked up in preparation for copious videos involving ditch and lamppost interfaces.
And now, we have the Drift Stick. It’s described as “the first-ever, rally-inspired electronic handbrake, developed and designed for Focus RS and approved by rally and stunt star Ken Block.”
If that’s not asking for trouble, we don’t know what is. Ford says it’s for track use only, but it says the same thing about the looser ESP modes of the standard RS.
Of course, the potential for fun is off the scale. Drift Stick is the end product of something called ‘Project Wicked Stick’, and is an offshoot of the development of Drift Mode.
It’s an aluminum lever placed by the gear lever, and it works with the car’s all-wheel drive and anti-lock brakes. Pull the lever and it locks the rear wheels to induce drifts and create an experience “very similar” to a rally car. On a road car. That’s reasonably affordable…
“I think it’s really cool that Ford Performance is offering customers a way to create large-angle drifts in the Focus RS,” says Block.
“Obviously it’s something that I’m really passionate about having been a part of the development of the production vehicle, so it’s exciting to see it come to life. It definitely makes the car even more fun to drive.”
While the heroic skids of Block’s Gymkhana videos are catalysed by a hydraulic handbrake, the substantial modifications that calls for mean an electronic version has proved more effective for production.
You can fit one if you already own an RS, too. And live in the USA or Canada. It costs $999 (£750) and requires no welding or drilling, while it doesn’t affect what remains of your Ford warranty, either.
It’s either the best idea ever, or the worst. Have a watch of it in action here, and then tell us which side you fall on below…