Designed from the ground up
Claimed to have been designed “from a clean sheet of paper” and boasting a “human-centric” design, the Focus is also said to be Ford’s “most accomplished model” to date, with a number of first for the segment both in terms of safety and creature comforts.
The first model to ride on the Blue Oval’s global C2 platform, and being both longer and wider than the outgoing model, the Focus is also lighter despite no official figures being released, while the exterior is a nod to the latest Fiesta with a new grille, re-positioned A-pillars, a longer bonnet, new LED front and rear lights, an assortment of new colours and new fenders.
In the UK, the Focus will be offered in a choice of seven trim levels; Style, Zetec, ST-Line (pictured above), ST-Line X, Titanium, Titanium X and Vignale (pictured below), with the latter’s flagship status seeing it's receiving mostly satin aluminium finishes for the roof rails, fascia inserts and grille.
As its name suggests, the ST-Line represents the sporty variant, and boasts a more aggressive front fascia, rear diffuser and functional boot spoiler, while the crossover inspired Active benefits from an increase in ground clearance, black wheel arch extensions, front and rear skidplates and a unique front end.
While the hatch and estate will be sold in the majority of markets, a select number of countries, most notably China, some in Europe and North America will also receive the sedan body style with the same level of driver and safety tech.
Inside, the Fiesta touches continue with a more minimalist design, with the majority of the functions controlled by the free-standing touchscreen infotainment display.
As well as upgraded materials and an assortment of finishes, ST-Line models come fitted as standard with carbon fibre like inserts, while simulated fine-grain wood dominates that of the Vignale. A series of more “textured and rugged” materials are in place in the Active.
In terms of in-car technology, the aforementioned infotainment display measures eight-inches and incorporates Ford’s SYNC 3 software, which supports Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and on some models, satellite navigation.
Additional tech consists of a wireless smartphone charging pad, FordPass Connect Wi-Fi service that can connect up to 10 devices, a new Heads-Up Display system, remote start, vehicle locator, kick-motion activated tailgate on estate models and on higher-end versions, a 675-watt, 10-speaker B&O Play sound system with a 140 mm subwoofer mounted in the boot.
Safer than ever before
Depending on the trim level selected, notable safety items consist of a 360-degree camera system, Active Park Assist 2, Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection, Adaptive Cruise Control with Road Sign Recognition and Lane-Centring, Adaptive Front Lighting with Predictive Curve Light and Park-Out Assist.
In addition, the Focus’s safety list also includes Blind Spot Information with Cross Traffic Alert, Post-Collision Braking, Evasive Steering Assist and initially for the Swiss, German and Austrian markets, Wrong Way Alert which uses a camera and the navigation system to “provide drivers with audible and visual warnings when driving through two “No Entry” signs on a motorway ramp”.
As well as offering Level 2 autonomous driving, Ford further claims that the above-mentioned driver assistance system has been implemented to obtain a five-star Euro NCAP rating when the Focus is crash tested.
Punchy engines and new automatic ‘box
Confirming to Euro 6 emissions regulations, power for the Focus will come from two EcoBoost petrol engines and two new EcoBlue turbodiesels, mated to either a six-speed manual or brand new eight-speed automatic gearbox now controlled by a rotary dial. No details of the ST or RS derivatives were divulged.
For the former engines, the smallest EcoBoost displaces 1.0-litres and can be had in outputs of 63 kW, 74 kW and 92 kW, while the bigger 1.5-litre four-cylinder churns out 110 kW or 134 kW. No torque figures were released. On the diesel side, the smallest EcoBlue has a capacity of 1.5-litre and produces 70 kW or 88 kW with torque for both at 300 Nm, while the flagship 2.0-litre outputs 110kW/370Nm.
In spite of the fact that the six-speed ‘box is standard fare on all models, the new eight-speed self-shifter, which replaces the previous six-speed dual-clutch Powershift, can only be specified on the high output EcoBoost engines, the 88 kW EcoBlue and the 110 kW EcoBlue.
Produced at Ford’s Saarlouis Plant in Germany, the Focus will go in sale in the UK with prices starting at £17 930 (R307 651) for the Style, £19 300 (R331 158) for the Zetec, £21 750 (R373 197) for the ST-Line, £24 050 (R412 661) for the ST-Line X, £21 550 (R369 765) for the Titanium, £22 820 (R391 556) for the Titanium X and topping at £25 450 (R436 683) for the Vignale.
Sales in Europe will commence later this year with local availability expected to place towards the end of this year or in early 2019.