Everyone knows I love driving and and have been patiently waiting for the new Ford Raptor and RS to hit the market. No doubt, I have the skills to drive in any conditions and perform any type of style including racing, off-roading and drifting.
Ford Canada had the first of the year Winter Adventure in Quebec at Estérel Resort and Mecaglisse Motor Sport Complex for two days driving experience with the 2017 F150 Raptor beast and the all new super fun 2017 Focus RS.
Arriving at the airport, Ford had their 2017 SUV fleet available for us to drive up to Esterel Resort, which included The Escape, Edge, Explorer and Flex. Now this is how I see it. Ford is uncompromisely the best North American vehicle manufacturing company on the market. The value that they bring and effort made to serve you as the customer and SUV owner is now becoming unprecedented. Driving long distance you feel super comfortable especially in the 2017 Explorer we found the interior creature comforts equal to what you expect from a car of this price range: comfortable seats, enough cup holders to satisfy late-August heat, and a Sony Premium sound system with Bluetooth that linked seamlessly with our favorite 21 Savage playlist. (The perks of having professional music nerds along for the ride.) I also appreciated the myriad power outlets to support our social media- and iPhone-obsessed lifestyle.
Estérel Resort offers an exceptional nature experience. Bordered by three navigable lakes, lush Laurentian forest and a Nordic spa, Estérel Resort’s two hotels offer a magical Laurentian backdrop, the ideal setting for a romantic getaway.
An impeccable panorama and welcoming facilities make Estérel Resort the obvious choice for events such as weddings, conferences and corporate events. The three gourmet restaurants, banquet halls, suites with a fireplace and outdoor activities during both the summer and winter seasons are guaranteed to provide unforgettable memories.
The Canadian Laurentian mountain landscape provides some of the best terrain for ski-dooing and dog sleigh rides. Rippin’ up the trails and feeling the cold crips winter air feels refreshing.
Off-Roading with the Raptor
We basically simulated exactly the kind of weekend an ambitious Raptor owner might have—drive from the city to the sand Saturday morning, play off-road all day and head home again as the sun goes down on Sunday.
The truck’s composure and performance on twisty mountain roads really blew me away, but even as much as I expected the truck to be good off-road, I was shocked at some of the speeds I was putting down on the mud roads.
My experience off-road driving includes few kilometers in previous-gen 6.2-liter V8 Raptors, some stock, some to modified and one supercharged to around 600 horsepower. I’ve also driven the FX4 “Off-Road” trim of the current F-150 and a huge handful of other vehicles on pretty much every surface type we’ve got in the U.S., Mexico, South America and Australia.
The simplest way to explain what sets the 2017 Raptor apart from any other production 4×4 that it makes all these off-road heroics so damn easy to do. It’s quick, it’s comfortable and it’s so intelligent that if you park it with your dog inside, Fido might have a Baja medal around his neck when you get back.
Track Time with the 2-17 Ford Focus RS
The 2017 Ford Focus RS has certainly made a splash as it goes on sale in North America for the first time in its history (prior versions having been enjoyed exclusively in Europe). But as certified go-fast geeks and weekend road racers, what we wanted to know was how fast it is around a racetrack, not how good it is at doing Hoonigan-spec power slides through abandoned warehouses.
Where the Focus RS felt the most special, though, was coming out of the corners, where it puts all of its 350 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque to the ground with a kind of efficient rage normally reserved for elite MMA athletes. The traction generated by the RS defies logic, and if you drive it in a neat and tidy fashion, it feels completely natural, with no sign of any of the electro-hydraulic wizardry going on beneath your seat.
What about Drift mode? Is it a gimmick or can you really drift the RS? We are no drifters, so we subbed a pro drifter into the driver seat. With Drift mode engaged (which sends power to the outside rear tire) and an aggressive Hollywood-worthy flick on entry, we were sliding sideways and powering out of corners with the tail hanging out and the rear tires putting off enough smoke to make a vaper jealous.
Overall the experience is no just about test driving the full Ford 2017 fleet, its about what the vehicles offer in certain terrains, roads and tundra and how the combination is compatible to comfort while feeling the power of each vehicle in its respective.