Car News

Ford reveals rally-inspired electronic handbrake for Focus RS

The Ford Performance Drift Stick was revealed overnight and, claims Ford, is the world’s first-ever electronic handbrake for a road-going performance car.

THE FORD PERFORMANCE DRIFT STICK is intended for the Focus RS and was, says Ford, known internally as Project Wicked Stick. You might remember the Focus RS and its Drift Mode already copped plenty of flak in this country… the launch of the Drift Stick is likely to get the wowsers going again.

In a statement announcing the Drift Stick, Dave Pericak, global director, said: “The passionate engineers at Ford Performance are also enthusiasts. Everyone here is encouraged to think outside the box, so project ‘Wicked Stick’ was born. Our engineers will leverage the learnings from its development for many future products for Ford Performance and, ultimately, take back even more of an innovative spirit when they rejoin our mainstream engineering teams.”

The Drift Stick is an aluminum lever between the driver’s seat and manual transmission, which works in with the all-wheel drive system and ABS and, when yanked on, opens the rear-drive unit clutches and applying hydraulic pressure to lock the rear wheels and induce drift, or a handbrake turn.

For final sign-off, Ford roped in drift-lover, Ken Block, who said: “I think it’s really cool that Ford Performance is offering customers a way to create large-angle drifts in the Focus RS. Obviously it’s something that I’m really passionate about having been a part of the development of the production vehicle, so it’s exciting to see it come to life. It definitely makes the car even more fun to drive.”

A hydraulic handbrake would have required substantial modifications to the car and, so the Ford Performance Drift Stick was developed as an electronic unit. According to Ford, the digital design enables a number of key benefits:

  • Instantaneous engagement and release – just two kilograms of pressure is required to operate the Ford Performance Drift Stick – significantly less than a hydraulic handbrake – for easy, precise use;
  • Installation and removal is easy, as there is no welding, hole drilling or calipers as necessary in a hydraulic kit; and
  • It also connects to the onboard diagnostics port on the car, allowing it to function as a professional calibration tool.

Like the RS’s exclusive drift mode, the Ford Performance Drift Stick is intended for track use only. The Drift Stick will go on-sale in the US and Canada in December, priced at US$999. It’s unknown at this stage whether Ford Australia will offer the product to Australian owners. We’ll update this when we hear back from the Ford PR team.


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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober