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Report: Ford Focus RS' "Drift Mode" Causes Uproar in Australia

The Land of Oz' strict driving laws clash with RS hoonery

Conner Golden
Jul 18, 2016

Contrary to popular belief, Australia isn't a burnout-happy, horsepower-hungry paradise. While there are a great number of enthusiasts driving a whole host of over-powered, rear-wheel-drive cars on that continent, reckless driving laws are rather severe. So severe, in fact, Ford's new "Drift Mode" in the Focus RS is causing quite the uproar.

According to a report from News.com.au, "safety experts" are unhappy with Ford's decision to sell the RS with its drift-happy performance mode in Australia. Ford claims the mode was approved for Australian sale, thanks in part to the Drift Mode's initial disclaimer that pops up on the gauge cluster screen, warning the driver that Drift Mode is only to be used on a race track or controlled environment. "A disclaimer is not going to stop an idiot from trying this on public roads," said Harold Scruby, the head of the Pedestrian Council of Australia. "We urge Ford to reconsider its decision, recall these vehicles and disable this driving mode."

Under Australian law, drifting carries a very steep penalty. News reports that law enforcement in most Australian states have the right to confiscate an offender's car, and immediately confiscate the driver's license for six to 12 months.

This isn't the first time a driving mode from Ford has caused an issue. When the redesigned Mustang GT made its way to the Land of Oz, the automaker disabled the Mustang's line-lock "Burnout Mode," as burnouts are illegal in that country.

By Conner Golden
98 Articles

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