For 2016, Team Sky switched vehicle supplier from Jaguar Land Rover to Ford, bringing the stunning V8 Mustang to the Tour de France. For the 2017 Tour it’ll be using the Focus RS hyper-hatch as a recon car and TT support vehicle, alongside everyday fare like the Mondeo.
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The Focus RS Option Pack (yes, that’s the official name) is 345bhp of AWD tyre-shredding hooliganism, one that takes the concept of a high-performance family car to slightly absurd extremes and which includes a Drift Mode for drivers who enjoy yelling “watch this!” before hitting the scenery backwards.
This particular RS has been customised to meet Team Sky’s needs, with a bicycle roof rack and Recaro seats better suited to the requirements of a support car than the standard items.
The car has also been modified to cope with the demands of various race scenarios and the need to carry “more than 350kg of added weight”, although Ford is vague on what that actually entails — perhaps simply some tweaking of suspension settings and tyre pressures.
We love a bit of marketing guff, and Team Sky has come up with a beauty in justifying the choice of vehicle for the opening stage of the Tour, stating that “the performance and handling of the Focus RS will be essential for following the riders, who achieve speeds of up to 70 km/h as they negotiate the 14-kilometre time trial course.”
We’re pretty sure that even the feeblest of cars can keep pace with a cyclist on the flat, but no matter, the RS is a seriously impressive machine and we're more than happy to admire it alongside a bit of bike racing.
Watch Ford's video of the Team Sky Focus RS below and let us know what you think the ultimate team car might be.