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Ford employs engine listeners to tune Focus RS

Sounding like a late April Fool’s Day joke, Ford claims it employees engine listeners to ensure the engine note from each and every Focus RS sounds right.

FORD CLAIMS IT USES engine listeners to help tune the sound of the new Focus RS. It said: “Nothing beats a good set of ears to help ensure the all-new Focus RS hot hatch achieves optimum performance … Highly trained production workers conduct an auditory test that confirms the perfect running of the 350PS 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine, in advance of it being fitted to the completed Ford Focus RS cars”.

Gunnar Herrmann, vice president, Quality, Ford of Europe, said: “Think of it like a doctor who has the most advanced diagnostic technology but still uses a stethoscope to gather vital clues to a patient’s health.”

Apparently, Ford workers are taught to recognise defects via specially prepared “faulty” engines. After several months of training and coaching, team members are qualified to conduct the intensive one‑minute tests in one of 18 sound-proofed cells at the end of the production line, Ford said.

“Should the engineers hear any rattling or whistling sounds typically associated with issues, such as a blocked lubrication passage or a damaged gear tooth, the engine is removed so that further checks can be carried out, and the problem addressed,” Ford said. Other engines they listen for include the Focus ST, S-Max and Mondeo, and they test around 2000 engines a day.

The Focus RS will arrive in Australia around the middle of the year and is priced from $50,990 (+ORC), but if you haven’t already placed your order then you’re too late. It’s sold out.

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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober