Ford has announced the all-new Ford Performance Drift Stick, the first-ever, rally-inspired electronic handbrake, developed and designed for Focus RS.
The Drift Stick – internally called Project Wicked Stick and led by Ford Performance program manager John Wicks – was born out of the Focus RS industry-first Drift Mode and developed by the same team.
The Drift Stick is an aluminum lever between the driver’s seat and manual transmission, which uses the innovative Ford Performance all-wheel-drive system in conjunction with the antilock braking system, opening up the rear-drive unit clutches and applying hydraulic pressure to lock the rear wheels to induce drift with the simple pull of a lever.
The results are clutch-free drift turns very similar to the experience of a real rally car.
Since a hydraulic handbrake would have required substantial modifications to the car that couldn’t be easily reversed, the Ford Performance Drift Stick was developed as an entirely electronic technology.
Once the wizardry began, a Ford Performance engineer noted the many similarities in its electronics with a part Ford already sells on a regular basis – the professional calibration tool. I
Integrating this existing technology resulted in easily plugging a USB cable into the Ford Performance Drift Stick to pull select diagnostic data and upload powertrain calibrations for the Focus RS.