As we know, the modern Focus RS is the hottest hatch in the Ford Performance lineup. Sporting 350 horsepower, all-wheel drive, and a host of driving modes, this little road rocket is an absolute blast. How could you possibly make it more fun you might ask? By turning up the fun factor to 11 with the Ford Performance Drift Stick!
With this, you flip the handle and — boom — the big angle is already there. — John Wicks, Ford Performance
A bolt-on, plug-in upgrade for the 2016-2017 Focus RS, the drift stick is far more than a soft-touch hydraulic emergency brake like the pros use. Instead, this is a fully digital handle that interfaces with the factory anti-lock brake module to bring on-demand angle to the masses.
“What’s nice about it is if you go into a corner and stand on it, drop the throttle and stand on it again, you can get that big angle,” Ford Performance engineer John Wicks said. “With this, you flip the handle and — boom — the big angle is already there. That’s the cool part. It may even cut down on tire wear because you don’t have to progress into it.”
What separates the Ford Performance Drift Stick from its hydraulic cousins is a pure digital interface. The same company that created the ProCal handheld tuner Ford Performance uses to deploy its performance PCM calibrations developed the microprocessor inside the stick. It not only interfaces with the ABS module, but it could be used to flash a PCM calibration as well, which opens up some exciting bundle possibilities in the future.
The Drift Stick installs in place of the leather cover on the factory emergency-brake handle and mounts to the seat bracket using existing holes which provide a base for the quick release ball stud, which can be adjusted to cancel out any vibrations. Moreover, the ball can be popped off so the stock e-brake can function properly.
Once installed, the stick interfaces with the ABS module via a cable that plugs into the factory OBD-II port. Once it is connected to the CAN bus with this connection, the ABS calibration can be flashed using a PC, ProCal software and a micro USB cable.
With the hardware and software in place, the Drift Stick can only be used under specific circumstances, which prevent it from being accidentally engaged.
“It only works in Drift Mode with ESC off,” John explained. “And, it will work between 3 and 70 mph.”
So, you put your Focus in Drift Mode, hold the ESC button down for 5 seconds to disable the stability control and you are ready to take the Focus RS fun up to 11. Get up to speed cut the wheel, yank the stick, and slay those tires. Sounds like our idea of a good time and because of its computerized assistance it doesn’t require the car-control skills that Ken Block and Vaughn Gittin Jr. — who were both consulted on the development of the Drift Stick — have honed with years of experience.
The stick will be available for just shy of $1,000 and looks like the ultimate accessory for thrill-seeking Focus RS owners.