Ford took an unconventional step in terms of the new Ford Focus RS‘ all-wheel drive system; rather than consisting of the usual fare, the hot hatch uses two electronically-controlled clutches at the rear differential to vector torque between the rear wheels.
According to Road & Track, it’s a trick nearly identical to the one used on the higher-cost variants of the Range Rover Evoque.
The Range Rover’s advanced rear differential comes by way of the Swedish GKN Driveline; Ford did say that they worked with GKN in developing the Ford Focus RS. But is it the same system? Ford politely refused to confirm or deny the possibility.
In any case, rumor has it that the Lincoln MKS/Continental could be the next to receive the tricky, torque-vectoring rear diff. Ford Europe’s VP of Product Development Joe Bakaj told Road & Track: “If you look at the thread of the presentation and what we’ve used these fast Fords for in the past, a lot of mainstream technologies that we use today came from these vehicles. And I can see this as one of those technologies of the future.”
While the Ford Focus RS’ sophisticated AWD system is likely to remain the domain of higher-priced, high-performance Ford vehicles, the expensive cost of development has already been paid; it would be folly not to reuse it.