If ever a car could be described as boring or plain then the Ford Focus RS RX is certainly not the one. Outrageous, extraordinary, incredible, all of these adjectives can most definitely be attributed to the Focus and now, just in case, Ford have given the RS across to their performance department to make absolutely sure. Ford Performance, for all you fans out there, have let it be known to MotorMartin that they have released a video series showcasing the extraordinary technological and engineering expertise behind the dramatic Focus RS RX. Superb.
Ford Performance have explained to MotorMartin that designing the ultimate Rallycross car is a unique challenge but that didn’t hold back the team, comprising members from the Ford Performance, M-Sport, and Hoonigan Racing Division, from designing and manufacturing the Ford Focus RS RX race cars in under nine months.
The crew worked together to optimise the key elements of the vehicle’s design, including the wing, suspension, driveshaft, and cockpit:
Wing: More than 100 iterations were tested using CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) software before the optimum design was determined for the Ford Focus RS RX wing.
Suspension: Ford Performance tested the suspension of the Ford Focus RS RX utilising a Kinematics and Compliance rig. This tool is the same one that is used for production vehicles, and gathers data to help engineers make decisions on suspension changes for the car.
Driveshaft: Using Finite Element Analysis, the Ford Performance team created a “heat map” of the potential stresses on the driveshaft of the vehicle to determine the best design.
Cockpit: Drawing on decades of racing experience between Ford Performance, M-Sport, and Hoonigan Racing Division, personalised cockpits were created for both Ken Block and Andreas Bakkerud based on their personal preferences with the goal of reducing gear shift time and increasing speed.
Rather unsurprisingly, the Focus RS RX won its first FIA World Rallycross Championship event after just five races in the 2016 season, the first season as a factory-backed team, following its debut in April last year at Bompiso, Portugal.
Ken Block and Andreas Bakkerud earned a combined three wins and seven podium finishes in twelve rounds, which the team hope to better in 2017. The season started well in Barcelona with Ken Block narrowly missing the final, and Andreas Bakkerud finishing third overall.
The second round takes place this weekend at Montalegre, Portugal and in MotorMartin’s opinion should be another exciting event with World Class drivers and cars.
Ford Performance have also provided MotorMartin with the following short films from their own excellent YouTube channel detailing the development process that goes on behind the scenes before a Wheel is turned in anger and are well worth watching.
Where will you go?