The all-new, next generation Ford Focus has been unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit – here are the initial details.
There’s certainly no mistaking the new Ford Focus for the old one. The exterior is described as the ‘next evolution of Ford’s acclaimed kinetic design form language’, meaning it’s supposed to look like it’s moving even when standing still. Key features include the rising belt line and sleek profile.
Five-door hatchback and four-door saloon versions debut at Detroit, although neither design appears to be especially innovative – Kia Cee’d meets current Ford Fiesta are the current musings from the Which? Car test team. But with the car not due on UK sale until early 2011, the styling may yet be subject to minor tweaks to suit European tastes.
Even better to drive
Ford is promising the all-new Focus will extend the current car’s class leading chassis dynamics, maintaining its position as the most fun to drive vehicle in the family hatchback sector.
A further enhanced version of the ‘control blade’ multi-link rear suspension – as introduced on the very first Ford Focus back in 1998 – is said to help give ‘significantly improved refinement and ride control’, while the all-new electric power steering system is expected to maintain quality of feedback even as it makes the Focus easier to manoeuvre at parking speeds.
A new engine range will provide both ‘spirited performance’ and ‘outstanding’ levels of fuel economy and CO2 emissions, according to Ford bosses.
A selection of all-new Ford ‘EcoBoost’ units featuring turbocharging and direct injection will be available for petrol fans, including a powerful yet frugal 1.6 in Europe. Improved ‘Duratorq TDCi’ common-rail turbodiesels finish a line-up claimed to be 10-20% more efficient than before.
High quality interior
On the inside, new Ford Focus customers can expect stacks of high-tech equipment and an emphasis on quality intended to close the gap on premium rivals such as the Volkswagen Golf and Audi A3.
Equipment highlights include Ford’s latest ‘SYNC’ system – already available on Fords in the United States – which is a voice control system combined with Bluetooth, satellite navigation and media player integration. Meanwhile ‘MyFord’ is the next generation of control interfaces and display screens, that will initially be trialled in the United States.
We’re still seeing a lot of small and potentially confusing buttons, however.
With cabin refinement now a major priority, materials, panel gaps, colour matching and general quality of finish will also come under much tighter scrutiny. Even the noise the door makes when it shuts and the thickness of padding round the steering wheel have been analysed.
A ‘world car’
Intended to be a true ‘world car’, the all-new Ford Focus will go into simultaneous production in Europe, America and China at the end of 2010, with 80% of its parts shared globally. It is thought the new Ford ‘C-car platform’ it’s based on will spawn up to 10 unique models.
The first of these new models are the all-new Ford C-MAX and Ford Grand C-MAX, already shown at the 2009 Frankfurt motor show, and due on sale here by the end of the year.
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