The Ford Focus celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2008 with a dynamic new model. A fresh, new ‘kinetic design’ exterior, upgraded interior, new features and technologies, combine with outstanding environmental credentials and acclaimed driving dynamics to keep Focus at the front of the medium car market.
Since the original Focus was launched in 1998, around 5 million vehicles have been produced in Europe. Its influence on the automotive world has been significant – it was the first and – to date – the only car in the world to be acclaimed “Car of the Year” both in Europe and in North America, and it has won over 80 awards in Europe alone. Focus has even become a well-known Ford model in Asia, where it is now produced in several markets including China.
The new Ford Focus will begin rolling off the production lines from the end of 2007 in three- and five-door hatchback and wagon bodystyles. The Focus portfolio will then be extended further in early 2008, when the new four-door saloon, the Focus Coupé-Cabriolet and the sporty flagship model Focus ST, will be added.
Ford ‘Kinetic Design’
The most eye-catching change for the new Ford Focus is its fresh new design.
Rather than just update a bumper or grille as many manufacturers do, Ford of Europe’s design team took a “whole vehicle” approach in applying ‘kinetic design’ form language to the exterior, to deliver almost an all-new body.
“We wanted to ensure that the new model was still recognisably a Focus, but was also identifiable as a new generation Ford,” said Martin Smith, Ford of Europe’s Executive Director for Design. “I’m very happy with the results, as the new car has greater presence and stronger lines which reinforce its driving dynamics credentials. Just as with the new Mondeo, this car reflects our ‘energy in motion’ philosophy represented in our ‘kinetic design’ form language.”
A Quality Experience
Inside the new Focus, the emphasis was on improving the quality of materials and enhancing comfort levels.
The evidence is clear to see and feel, thanks to a soft feel top to the doors, new instrument binnacle, revised centre stack and redesigned window and mirror switches. New, high quality leather is also available on key models, while the range-topping Titanium X model comes equipped with blue-tinted glass. A new woven headliner is fitted as standard equipment on Ghia and Titanium three- and five-door models (without sunroof).
A new ‘Premium’ centre console has been designed with an emphasis on improved design and functionality. This comes as standard equipment for Ghia, Titanium and ST series models, or as an option on Trend models and part of the available Sport pack.
The Premium console features a movable armrest with 80mm of travel, a four-litre capacity storage compartment, plus two open cup holders with rubber mat, a coin holder and a card holder.
The rear face of the console provides additional storage area for rear-seat passengers or customers can specify an optional 230 volt socket which provides direct power for laptops, printers, vacuum cleaners and other day-to-day appliances (rated at less than 150W.)
The console will also house the available Ford Power button (available from early 2008), which has been positioned near the gear shifter, while a new Connectivity Module can also be specified, which includes a USB port, auxiliary jack and ‘iPod’ connections.
The new Focus is available in five model series – the Ambiente series is the lead-in model, followed by the Trend series, and at the top of the range, the classic luxury of Ghia and the “techno feel” of Titanium variants sit alongside the ST performance derivative. Customers can further enhance and personalise their vehicles with optional ‘X’ packs on the Ghia and Titanium models, and a variety of themed option packs targeted to specific customer needs – Sport, Comfort, Style and Business (availability depends on market).
Compelling New Technologies
The new Ford Focus range includes a host of new technology features aimed at making the driving experience even better.
New Focus clearly benefits from the development work completed on Ford’s new range of large and luxury cars, as many of the key technologies have been carried through from the new Mondeo, S-MAX and Galaxy into the Focus range.
Examples of this include the introduction of the Ford Easyfuel capless refuelling system which is fitted as standard on the new Focus and helps to prevent misfuelling – one of the most expensive problems owners of today’s vehicles can experience.
Also available when the Premium centre console is specified is the ‘Ford Power’ start button for easy, keyless vehicle activation.
New Focus also delivers new levels of technology for connectivity and in-car systems. Any portable audio device can be connected to the car’s audio systems either via a conventional 3.5mm jack or now, a new USB port with connectivity module. The latter is particularly significant for users of latest generation Apple iPod players, as this connection allows full control of the unit’s functions through the main audio system.
New Focus is also the first Ford of Europe model to offer an optional Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) tuner with its high quality Sony audio systems. This provides enhanced signal strength and CD levels of superior clarity for radio enthusiasts.
Bluetooth ® connectivity and Voice Control are also available, along with an affordable new navigation system which includes a 5-inch colour display and, for the first time an SD card slot allowing access to MP3 files. Another thoughtful option is the availability of a 230 volt power socket for the premium centre console.
Enhanced Safety – Ford Intelligent Protection System
A key strength of the Ford Focus has always been its no-compromise approach to safety which includes the Ford Intelligent Protection System and no fewer than six airbags.
To enhance the overall Focus safety package, the new model now comes with standard Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) with Traction Control in most European markets.
Also, when Ford’s Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS) or HID Bi-Xenon headlights are specified, new Focus will be fitted with bright and distinctive LED rear lights which are fitted to all three- and five-door hatchbacks, as well as the wagon. In addition, new Focus features an available tyre pressure Deflation Detection System (DDS) and all new Focus models come fitted with an automatic hazard warning light activation system which warns following drivers of emergency braking manoeuvres.
The new Focus maintains the strong list of standard active and passive safety features that has earned it a five-star EuroNCAP rating, including standard ABS, Emergency Brake Assist, and its rigid, reinforced passenger cell. A wide range of optional features that further contribute to the standard safety package include the halogen-based AFS headlamp system, Ford’s Quickclear heated front screen, and High Intensity Discharge xenon headlights which deliver almost twice the light intensity of conventional headlamps.
The Focus Driving Experience
The Ford Focus has always been acclaimed for its driving quality, particularly its dynamics, and the new range remains true to this heritage.
Detailed changes have been made to make the Focus quieter, particularly the diesel models, and manual transmissions benefit from reduced friction by using a new low viscosity transmission oil which does not only contribute to a better fuel economy, but also helps to reduce the forces required for a gear change by up to 14 per cent.
The new Focus is the first Ford of Europe model to introduce an all-new optional transmission system that combines the efficiency and dynamics of a manual with the ease of a quality automatic.
The new Ford PowerShift transmission, due to be introduced in Focus from the beginning of 2008 is an innovative new six-speed double-clutch automatic transmission and will be available with the 136 PS (100 kW) and 110 PS (81 kW) 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi common rail diesel engines. The Ford PowerShift also demonstrates that a high degree of driving comfort does not have to result in high CO 2 emission levels.
Low emission levels are the priority for a significant new addition to the new Focus range – the new Ford Focus ECOnetic.
Ford of Europe’s new ECOnetic range of vehicles demonstrate that using conventional technology and a clever combination of fuel-saving, individual details, very favourable fuel consumption levels and, consequently, dramatically reduced CO 2 emissions can be delivered. Powered by the acclaimed 109 PS (80 kW) 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi with standard Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF), average consumption for this vehicle has been homologated at 4.3-litres/100km which corresponds to an average CO 2 emission of only 115 g/km – a class-leading result for a conventional vehicle in this segment. With the 90 PS (66 kW) version of this engine, the CO 2 emissions drop to 114 g/km.
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Source: Ford Press Release