Ford says the new Focus elevates the world’s best-selling nameplate with a bolder, more emotive exterior design, a finely-crafted intuitive new interior, a suite of life-enhancing new technologies, and major fuel economy improvements. Now that is praise indeed for the new version that will go on sale here by this year end.
It was previewed last week in Barcelona and it was unveiled this week at the Geneva Motor Show. The new Focus’s sporty character and driving appeal will feature a striking horizontal grille, a cockpit-inspired interior and available paddle shifters. The new Focus also marks the European debut of SYNC 2, Ford’s advanced in-car connectivity system, as well as the new 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol and TDCi diesel engines.
“We weren’t satisfied with being No 1; we wanted to blow people away with a stunning new version of the Focus,” said Ford of Europe president Stephen Odell. “New Focus marries modern design, advanced technology and leading fuel efficiency with the fun-to-drive DNA for which Focus is rightly acclaimed.”
Ford first launched the Focus in 1998 and since then more than 12 million have been sold worldwide, including 6.9 million in Europe. The current Focus was confirmed last month as the world’s best-selling vehicle nameplate based on Ford’s analysis of the Polk registration data for the first nine months of 2013. Ford estimates Focus sales globally reached 1.1 million in 2013, including more than 300,000 in China, making it the best-selling passenger car in the fastest-growing new car market in the world.
Ford has now crafted a more sophisticated and advanced Focus with a redesign that reflects the One Ford global design language that carries through the new Mondeo and Fiesta.
The new Focus has a lower, wider stance, with a new bonnet, front fascia and grille. The bonnet is sculpted with a dynamic shape from the front pillar to the corners of the upper part of the inverted trapezoid grille to deliver a strong, proud look.
The new Focus will be the first vehicle in Europe to offer SYNC 2. Ford’s advanced in-car connectivity system features a high-resolution, 8-inch colour touch screen and advanced voice control for easier access to audio, navigation, climate control and compatible mobile phones.
SYNC 2’s navigation system also offers for the first time in Europe a split-screen display with detailed intersections, spoken street names, 3D highway junction and landmark views, and the Michelin travel guide. SYNC 2 enables drivers to issue simpler “one-shot” navigation destinations, and to ask the system to “play” a desired artist. Simply pushing the voice control button and saying “I’m hungry” will bring up a list of local restaurants, which you can then get directions to.
The new Focus takes the model’s acclaimed fun-to-drive DNA up a level with enhanced handling and steering. Ford engineers have delivered a more solid, responsive and connected-to-the-road feel by increasing the structural stiffness at the front, revising the suspension geometry, increasing lateral stiffness of “steering-relevant” suspension bushes, retuning the shock absorbers and incorporating a new ESP (Electronic Stability Programme).
The new Focus is the first Ford to offer Perpendicular Parking, a new hands-free parking technology that helps drivers reverse into spaces alongside other cars.
The current Focus introduced parallel parking aid Active Park Assist that, at the push of a button, uses ultrasonic sensors to locate parking spaces and steer the vehicle while the driver controls the accelerator and brake. The addition of two new sensors to the rear of the new Focus enables Perpendicular Parking to operate in the same way.
The new Focus offers significantly improved fuel efficiency on many versions compared to the current model thanks to new powertrain options. The most improved diesel model will offer a 19 per cent reduction in fuel consumption, while the most improved petrol model will offer a 17 per cent improvement.
The new Focus will be the first vehicle in Europe to offer the fuel efficient new 1.5-litre EcoBoost (150PS and 180PS) petrol engine and also will be offered equipped with the new 1.5-litre TDCi (95PS and 120PS) diesel engine. The Focus will continue to be offered with the 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine (100PS and 125PS) that last year was chosen by a third of Focus customers, and was named the 2012 and 2013 International Engine of the Year.
There will also be a new version of the 99g/km CO2 1.0-litre EcoBoost, the first non-hybrid petrol family car in Europe to offer sub-100 g/km CO2 emissions.
In Europe, Ford builds a new Focus every 90 seconds.