Ford will offer to its all new Ford Focus RS customers the option to avail of a fully certified winter tire kit to fully utilize the powerful 350 HP all-wheel drive car even in the snow. It would be the first time in North America that an original equipment manufacturer is offering a winter tire option.
According to Adam Wirth, chassis supervisor of Ford Performance, the company is offering this winter set option as a response to an acknowledged customer demand. With the Focus RS Winter Wheel & Tire Package installed, RS customers may continue the pleasure of driving their performance all-wheel drive car even in brutal winter conditions.
Previously, only the testing procedures for normal production wheels and tires require certification while there seems to be no standards in place for the testing of winter-only wheels and tires. To address this lack, Ford pioneered its own new set of standards for winter equipment that are best suited to face harsh winter conditions.
With the ultimate goal of quality, performance and safety that all Ford performance customers expect, Ford engineers and technicians proceeded to test a variety of high-performance tires and wheels combinations in the extreme cold and show of Northern Michigan and Sweden. The combination of a 225/40R18 Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 tire mounted to a new 18x7.5-inch wheel topped in providing a comfortable ride, handling and performance in the extreme testing done.
This was then selected as the Focus RS Wheel & Tire Package and, incidentally, it looks very similar to the base Focus RS option. The only noticeable difference in appearance is that the winter option is finished in sparkle silver to camouflage possible salt spray. The package also includes pressure monitoring sensors and center caps which can be installed by the dealer.
Improved snow traction is made possible by the narrower wheels and tires while the diameter has been set up to be slightly smaller to allow the fitting of chains if owners opt for it as well. According to Wirth, the snow chains are for those customers who want to be ready for even more extreme weather. With the installation of the new winter tires, the Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive will prove just how capable the car is even in winter.
Wirth explains that customers can select which of the four drive modes available is best compatible with their winter driving style. At the moment, the new Focus RS Winter Wheel & Tire Package is a $1,995 option only available in North America.