The next-generation Ford Focus makes its worldwide debut today at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, providing customers with more affordable technologies and features than ever in this segment, as well as detailed craftsmanship, outstanding fuel economy and a new standard for driving quality.
Both the four-door saloon and five-door hatchback body styles of the next-generation Focus are previewed prior to their production start for Europe and North America late in 2010 and market launch early in 2011.
The new Focus will be nearly identical in all markets, with 80 per cent parts commonality around the world.
“The new Ford Focus is a clear demonstration that our ONE Ford strategy is providing global consumers with great products that harness the best of Ford Motor Company,” said Alan Mulally, Ford’s president and CEO.
“The efficiencies generated by our new global C-car platform will enable us to provide Ford Focus customers with an affordable product offering quality, fuel efficiency, safety and technology beyond their expectations,” he added.
Simultaneous launch in Europe and North America
Production of the next-generation Ford Focus will begin simultaneously in Europe and North America in late 2010, with individual market launches starting early in 2011. Initial production will be concentrated at the Saarlouis (Germany), Michigan (United States) and Chongqing (China) Assembly Plants.
The new Focus will be one of up to 10 unique models to be built from Ford’s new C-car platform, which is expected to generate total sales in all regions of two million units annually by 2012. The first of these will be the new Ford C-MAX and Ford Grand C-MAX – unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show – for launch in Europe in the second half of 2010.
“Global customers increasingly want smaller cars with outstanding fuel economy, but without sacrificing any of the style, technology, connectivity and driving quality they demand from larger vehicles,” explained Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group vice president of Global Product Development.
“Our next generation of C-cars – led by the exciting new Focus – will clearly show that Ford is ready to meet that challenge,” said Kuzak.
Engineered without compromise
The new Ford Focus has been developed by a global team, led from Ford’s European small and medium vehicle centre of excellence in Merkenich, near Cologne, Germany, with powertrain development led by a similar team at Ford’s technical centre in Dunton, England. The vehicle has been engineered without compromise to meet all customer and legislative requirements of the major worldwide markets.
In developing the vehicle for global markets, the product team in Europe was able to call on the experience acquired from recent programs like the much-acclaimed new Ford Fiesta, and was supported by the expertise of vehicle and powertrain technology specialists located in Ford’s engineering centre in Dearborn, Mich.
Taking kinetic design to the next level
The two models share a sporty and dynamic character, marking the next evolution of Ford’s acclaimed kinetic design form language. The kinetic design approach uses bold vehicle designs to capture the feeling of energy in motion, so that cars look like they are moving – even when they are standing still.
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.
This dynamic quality is reinforced by the distinctive design of the interior. The new Focus has an extremely 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.
A key element of the interior is the quality of 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.
Unmatched driving quality
Introduced in 1998, the original Ford Focus brought new levels of agility and responsiveness to the C-segment. The all-new 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.
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 and rear subframes. 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.
All global customers will benefit from the same quality of dynamic performance in the new Focus. Identical chassis and suspension architecture is being used for all markets, except for minor regional tuning differences, such as local tyre specifications.
Efficient powertrains deliver performance with outstanding economy
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.
The global powertrain lineup for the new Focus will include a range of state-of-the-art Ford EcoBoost™ four-cylinder turbocharged direct injection (DI) engines – including the 1.6-litre unit in Europe and a choice of advanced and improved Duratorq TDCi common-rail diesel engines, all of which offer reductions in fuel consumption of between 10 and 20 per cent compared to the outgoing models.
Intuitive technology enhances convenience and safety
The technology package of the new Focus promises not only clear leadership in the C-segment, but also includes features customers in larger, more premium segments would find surprising. The new technologies have been designed to be simple and highly intuitive to use, while enhancing both convenience and safety for the vehicle occupants including 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.
MyFord 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 variety of devices and media players.
Strength and safety
The Focus platform provides an incredibly strong and stiff structure, which not only benefits vehicle dynamics and refinement but also provides the basis for enhanced crash performance. High-strength steels are used extensively in the next-generation Focus body shell. These advanced materials help the structure meet the most stringent crash legislation across world markets, while minimising the vehicle’s weight.
Quality and craftsmanship in every detail
The new Focus will make significant strides in reducing cabin noise, promising a quiet cabin environment. This refinement complements the fresh new interior design and higher craftsmanship levels to create a premium feel akin to larger vehicles.
Each component in the vehicle that the customer will touch, see, hear or even smell has been subjected to rigorous analysis to ensure that it will exceed an owner’s expectations. Particular attention has been given to the quality of interior trim materials, and the colour matching, gaps, flushness and tolerances where one part meets another.
Ford has developed a global DNA standard that defines the exact attributes a part should have to meet the quality requirements of the brand. Examples include the sound the door makes when it is closed, requiring special attention to the door structure and latch mechanism, and the design of a steering wheel, right down to the thickness of padding and size of stitching on the rim.
This meticulous attention to detail is also reflected in Ford’s global manufacturing strategy for the Focus, with consistent standards and processes being applied in every one of the assembly plants, wherever they are located in the world.
The new Focus will go on sale in the UK in the first quarter of 2011.
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