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  • Focus RS

    So... does anyone know anyone who has one and plans on rallycrossing it? Is the evo's reign of terror over (at least in SA)? On paper the RS looks to be the next "it" AWD car.
    Max Lawson
    2006 Mitsubishi Evo IX MR
    National Champion 2015 PA
    2nd Place 2016 MA

  • #2
    On paper where? What I see is a heavier car, with 19" wheels, an engine that cannot out-accelerate cars with 50 less HP, and "AWD lag" because everything is electronically hocus-pocused.

    Mind you, I would like to see one run, but my hopes aren't up.

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    • #3
      We should convince Team O'Neil to bring there's out to see how "fast" it really is, MA

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      • #4
        There was a Ford Focus RS competing this past weekend at the California Rally Series Ridgecrest Rally School RallyCross in stock AWD. He got 2nd place! Don't have any pictures of it unfortunately but it looked great on course. A 4door non-turbo GC Impreza got 1st place.
        Southern California Rally Media
        WheelsDirty | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

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        • #5
          There are RallyCross courses where forward locomotion in the correct direction is basically the whole race, and specs and driver are of less consequence. The traction aids and sophisticated torque vectoring might be the trick. As RallyCross Nationals moves deeper into the calendar towards cold/wet/fog/mud, we increase the likelihood of a single heat swaying the results to the best car at navigating dew and slop. If the traction system is really slick, I wouldn't bet against one.

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          • #6
            I don't see that on the OE steamroller tire size, and there isn't much leeway to go any narrower.

            Driver skill and tire choice is more important than anything else when it is really nasty.

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            • #7
              My experience with the Golf R...

              Similar drivetrain, FWD based, computer controlled torque split when determined necessary. Large factory wheels and wide tires.

              It was great when the grip was relatively high and or consistent. Fast locally in SA, often setting times that would podium in MA. And fast in practice at the 2013 Championship. Then it rained all night Friday and the course turned to a soup bowl. The car was co-driven and neither of us could get out of the bottom 20% of the class Saturday. We posted competitive times Sunday when it dried out, but moot point by then.

              From my perspective the car would have needed to down size its brakes to fit more rally oriented rubber, and an aftermarket rear diff controller to make the car more AWD more of the time. Both of which were expensive and would have bumped the car to PA. I couldn't afford that at the time, and didn't want to put that car into PA. I might be okay with that now because I've changed my view point on the Prepared class rule set. It really allows car owners to remedy the ills of a stock car with out the temptation of going crazy, or the implication that you need to in order to be competitive.

              My moderately informed opinion of the Focus RS...

              It is very neat, I have not driven one. Full of great gadgetry, but it's fluff to make posers who don't want to develop driving skills look like they're talented. And the power train that turns the back axle on and off seems too reactive. I doubt you could disable the ABS without neutering the AWD and putting the car into limp mode. I don't think you can realistically reprogram the computer to run in AWD mode full time because the rear of the car is geared to mechanically over drive compared to the front at a rate of 1.8:1!

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              • #8
                Ah yes, 2013... that year was fun. I was placing extremely well in SA that year until the course dried out. Seems like a trend.

                You definitely cannot disable ABS without neutering the AWD, the AWD system requires input from the ABS controller in order to function since, by design, it can never engage the clutches 100% thanks to the differing effective final drive ratios front to rear. It also disables the rear axle when you use the brakes, so anybody who tries to balance the chassis manually is up for a rude awakening. Seems like the only way to "make" the car work is to just "let" the car work.

                If the Golf's AWD system is similar to other on-demand FWD-based systems, the controller can be replaced by a switch to just turn the rearend on full time. This isn't as drivable as a proper center diff but it's at least extremely predictable and that is often more important.

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