Ford has revealed the all-new global Focus lineup, including a sedan, estate/wagon, and hatchback for Europe, China and the USA market. Cars for the North American market for the first time in history to be produced at the Changan plant in China. Bolder design, a more upmarket cabin, a new "soft-roader" model and dramatic price cuts are hoped to revive sales of one of Ford's bread and butter models.
As for the exterior design, it's a sleek interpretation of Ford's latest styling language, offering a drag co-efficient of just 0.250 for the four-door and 0.273 for the five-door hatch. In addition the luxury Vignale and sporty ST grades, the Focus will be positioned for "adventure-oriented" consumers with an Active version and continue to be offered with the upscale Titanium trim.
Ford spokesman Jiyan Cadiz confirmed that the product portfolio shift by 2020 to trucks and utilities - including electrified versions - will account for nearly 90 percent of Ford's volume. Ford will bake in lane-centering, too, to keep the Focus in-between the lines.
As you might expect, the new vehicle is laden with tech; adaptive cruise control now features a stop and go function for navigating through traffic.
It's not yet know which versions will be coming to South Africa, but overseas powertrain options include a pair of three-cylinder petrol engines: Ford's trusty 1.0-litre EcoBoost and a new 1.5-litre EcoBoost, both featuring fuel-saving cylinder deactivation technology which is an industry first for three-cylinder engines. The latter is optional only on the highest-powered petrol of each size, the top-spec 1.5-litre diesel and the 2.0-litre diesel engines.
The Focus has always been the benchmark in its class for chassis control and the all-new model is expected to continue to legacy.
Ford has not announced which engines will be offered in North America.
Ford's director of product communications, Jay Ward, tweeted on the launch of the new Focus this morning: "It's here!" A hot ST model will also be added to the Focus in due course.
Bakaj also claims that Focus Four is also as good to drive, though we'd like to try that for ourselves.
Inside, the most obvious difference in the all-new Focus is that it's missing a conventional gear shifter.
The evasive steering assist is a segment-first feature that helps drivers steer around stopped or slower vehicles to help avoid collisions, and it's part of a suite of safety kit on the new Focus that includes adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist to help negotiate stop-start traffic. The 1.0-litre triple engine has a new turbocharger and cylinder head, a higher compression ratio (now 10.5:1) and increased injection pressure (250bar).
At simultaneous events in Europe and in China, Ford pulled the curtain back on the next-generation Ford Focus. "I am immensely proud of the team that has helped deliver what I believe is the best auto we have ever made", he added. An 8.0-inch touchscreen will be available along with other features including Wi-Fi, a motion-activated liftgate, telematic services, and a wireless charging pad for mobile devices. The next-generation Focus will be tailored to each global region.