The exciting new next-generation Ford Focus is gearing up for its sales launch early in 2011, with the core three-model line-up seen together for the first time at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. The sporty five-door hatchback and stylish five-door wagon Focus models take centre stage on the Ford stand, revealed in full detail ahead of the production start in Europe and North America in late 2010.
Focus is Ford’s most significant nameplate globally. With over 10 million examples sold since its launch in 1998, the Ford Focus has become a firm favourite with consumers worldwide for its outstanding value, comfort and safety, and above all, for being great fun to drive. Following an unprecedented global development program under the company’s ONE Ford strategy, the next-generation Focus is set to continue the successful tradition of its predecessors and demonstrates how Ford is changing.
Distinguished by its sleek and sporty design, the new Focus is packed with more affordable technologies and features than ever before in this segment. The next-generation Focus also offers customers the highest standards of quality and detailed craftsmanship, outstanding fuel economy, and takes the legendary Focus driving dynamics to a new level.
“The new Focus truly represents the best of Ford Motor Company, and we are excited that the first vehicles will be in customers’ hands very soon,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group vice president of Product Development. “The investment in our new C-car platform has enabled us to provide global consumers with an affordable product which offers quality, fuel efficiency, safety and technology beyond their expectations.”
Developed in Europe, for sale in over 120 markets worldwide with 80 per cent parts commonality, the next-generation Focus is the hero model created from Ford Motor Company’s new global C-segment platform. This platform will underpin at least ten vehicles around the world and account for two million units of annual production by 2012.
“The presentation of the three core Focus bodystyles here in Paris is another key milestone in our global C-car strategy,” said Kuzak. “In just a few months, Focus production will start simultaneously in the Saarlouis and Michigan assembly plants, as we begin to realise the vision of delivering at least ten new derivatives from the same platform globally.”
At Paris, Ford is also confirming that the three-model next-generation Focus range will not be expanded with additional three-door or Coupé-Cabriolet derivatives. “Having taken the decision to adopt such a sleek, coupé-like design for the five-door hatchback, there was little space in the line-up for a three-door version,” Kuzak explained. “The three-model Focus range provides the ideal blend of sporty, dynamic looks and every-day practicality. And for buyers wanting the same dynamic appearance but with extra space, our latest C-car line-up also offers the stylish new C-MAX, so customers really can find the perfect car to suit their needs.”
Ford has promised to add a performance Focus model to the next-generation line-up, and at Paris the company is previewing how that model will look when introduced in 2012. The exciting new Focus ST model is revealed at Paris and its 250 PS Ford EcoBoost powerplant will deliver driving enjoyment designed to match its outstanding looks.
The lead Ford Focus assembly plants in Saarlouis (Germany) and Michigan (USA) are currently preparing for a simultaneous manufacturing launch towards the end of 2010. The Saarlouis plant will produce all three Focus bodystyles, while production at Michigan will concentrate on the 4-door and 5-door derivatives. European production will be expanded in mid-2011 when the assembly plant in St. Petersburg (Russia) starts building the new 4-door and 5-door models. The next stage sees Focus manufacturing extend into Asia Pacific, as the Chongqing (China) plant comes on stream in early 2012. To ensure that the strong European demand for the Focus brand can be satisfied while the Saarlouis plant ramps up production of the new model, the current Focus will continue to be produced in Valencia (Spain) until mid-2011.
“Demand for the current model remains extremely high across Europe, with a whole generation of customers who have a strong loyalty to the Focus brand,” said Stephen Odell, Ford of Europe chairman and CEO. “Continuing current Focus production in Valencia will enable us to offer those customers good availability and the best possible value while Saarlouis ramps up to full production of the new model.”
The three Focus bodystyles models share a sporty and dynamic character, marking the next evolution of Ford’s acclaimed kinetic design form language, which has contributed to the growing popularity of the company’s latest small and medium cars. With its striking front end, sleek profile, dramatic rising beltline and athletic stance, the new Focus clearly telegraphs the rewarding driving experience that awaits customers when they take to the road. The low, streamlined profile with its steeply raked front screen also contributes to an impressively aerodynamic body shape, which helps to minimise fuel consumption. The slippery shape, plus carefully optimised aerodynamic details throughout the vehicle – the Focus follows the new Mondeo in featuring an active grille shutter to block airflow through the cooling system when it is not required – has resulted in a significantly reductions in drag – reduced to a drag coefficient (CD) of 0.27, compared to 0.30 for the current model.
The dynamic quality of the exterior is reinforced by the distinctive design of the interior. The new Focus has a modern, cockpit-style interior, with the stylish centre console wrapped around the driver and providing outstanding access to the vehicle’s major controls and display panels. Within the cockpit, the most significant innovation is the company’s next-generation driver connect technology, MyFord, which provides the driver with a state-of-the-art combination of controls and display screens to operate the key vehicle features. On high series vehicles, the MyFord system includes an 8-inch touch screen, allowing the driver to control a wide range of functions via a clear and intuitive colour display. My Ford is complemented by a new generation of Ford’s powerful SYNC® connectivity package, which includes a sophisticated voice control system, Bluetooth and satellite navigation, along with connection points for a wide variety of external devices and media players.
The interior combines outstanding functionality with outstanding craftsmanship. The cabin’s bold and contemporary graphics, the sculptured shape of the soft-touch instrument panel and the choice of superior trim materials all help to give occupants the feeling that they are travelling in a premium-class car.
The new Focus wagon on show in Paris with its interior for the first time enhances this premium feel still further by featuring a leather interior package from the exclusive range of Ford Individual vehicle personalisation options which are being specially developed for the new model. The show vehicle has luxurious black premium leather trim on the seats, door panels, central armrest and instrument cluster hood, complete with contrasting stitching. The full Ford Individual range for the new Focus will be revealed closer to the launch.
The global scale of Ford’s C-car programme makes more technologies and features economically viable than ever before for cars in this segment. This has enabled Focus engineers to make an exceptional range of innovative technologies available to meet the needs of consumers worldwide. The number of features offered in each market will vary according to local customer demand and acceptance, although because the full range of technologies has been engineered for the vehicle, additional features could be made available in the future to meet changing customer requirements. In the European market, this substantial technology investment for the next-generation Focus promises clear leadership in the C-segment, and also offers customers an exciting array of advanced features generally found only in larger and more expensive vehicles.
A key innovation in the new Focus is the new Low Speed Safety System, which appears in a Ford vehicle for the first time. The system is designed to help drivers avoid the kind of low speed frontal collisions which are very common in congested urban driving conditions, and operates at speeds below 20 mph. Using a forward facing optical sensor, this system detects objects in front of the car and continuously (50 times per second) calculates the brake force required to avoid a collision. If the system considers that a collision is imminent and the driver is not taking any action, it automatically reduces throttle input and applies the brakes.
The comprehensive range of smart driver assistance technologies available on the new Focus also includes:
- Active Park Assist
- Lane Keeping Aid and Lane Departure Warning
- Auto High Beam
- Traffic Sign Recognition
- Driver Alert
- Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Alert and Collision Mitigation by Braking
- Blind Spot Information System
- Speed Limiter
- Rear Seat Beltminder
- Power Child Locks
- Rear View Camera
When it was introduced in 1998, the original Ford Focus brought new levels of agility and responsiveness to the C-segment. The next-generation Focus plans to raise the benchmark once more, targeting class-leading driving quality that blends outstanding steering precision and road feedback with significantly improved refinement and ride control. To deliver this performance, engineers have updated the innovative suspension concepts from prior models, developing optimised new designs for the ‘Control Blade’ multilink rear suspension and the semi-isolated front subframe. The chassis design is complemented by a completely new Electric Power Assist Steering system, which has been carefully tuned to deliver pure and precise responses at high speed while remaining light and manoeuvrable for parking.
Ford’s European driving dynamics specialists have also enhanced cornering stability and agility with the introduction of an advanced Torque Vectoring Control system, which acts like a torque vectoring differential to constantly balance the distribution of torque between the front wheels, resulting in reduced understeer, improved traction and better turn-in. The system is particularly effective as the car accelerates through corners, applying an imperceptible amount of braking to the front inside wheel, so that more of the engine torque goes to the outside wheel which has more grip. This makes the car feel smaller and more agile, reacting faster to driver steering inputs, with handling characteristics that will delight committed sports-car drivers and assist less experienced drivers in difficult conditions.
The engaging driver appeal of the new Ford Focus is magnified by a powertrain range that delivers spirited performance and targets outstanding levels of fuel economy and CO2 emissions.
94bhp/113bhp 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi
The 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel has been completely updated with changes to the combustion system, fuel injection system and turbocharger to deliver improved performance, fuel economy and refinement. Focus customers can choose between two different power ratings: 94bhp and 113bhp. Both variants offer ample pulling power and a broad spread of torque, while the 113bhp engine delivers extra performance via the transient overboost feature which increases peak torque from 199lb ft to 210lb ft during hard acceleration. This powertrain also offers exceptional economy, achieving average fuel consumption of 67 mpg and CO2 emissions of 109g/km.
113bhp/138bhp/161bhp 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi
Like its smaller counterpart, the 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel has been comprehensively re-engineered to deliver increased power and torque to the diesel line-up in the Focus, but not at the expense of fuel economy and CO2 emissions. Paired with a 6-speed manual transmission, the 2.0-litre TDCi is available in 138bhp and 161bhp ratings, while the Focus can also be specified with the high-efficiency Ford PowerShift 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with the 113bhp, 138bhp and 161bhp versions of the engine.
In addition to the highly efficient diesel powertrain offering, the new Focus range also incorporates other features from the Ford ECOnetic Technologies programme to help minimise fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Most notably, the Focus is the first Ford model to standardise Ford Auto-Start-Stop technology across a significant part of the range. All vehicles with the 1.6-litre TDCi diesel engine – equating to around 50 per cent of the European sales volume – are equipped with Ford Auto-Start-Stop, which typically reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 10 per cent in urban driving.
For the ultimate in efficiency, the Focus range will be available with a dedicated, ultra-low CO2 ECOnetic derivative later in 2011.
“We are determined to take a leadership position on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, and optimising efficiency has been an absolute priority during the development of the new Focus,” said Derrick Kuzak. “By making new technologies like our Ford EcoBoost engines and Ford Auto-Start-Stop widely available to C-car customers, we are making a significant step forward in reducing the environmental impact of our products.”
“With the launch just a few months away, we are very excited about introducing the new Ford Focus to the European market,” said Stephen Odell. “With its desirable combination of dynamic design, outstanding driver appeal, unmatched levels of technology and impressive fuel economy, we believe that the new model will expand the appeal of the Focus brand to a whole new generation of customers.”