The next generation Ford Focus is currently on display at the Paris Motor Show with all three bodystyles together in the flesh for the first time. Also on display are the high-performance Focus ST and also the MPV derivative, the C-Max, alongside facelifted versions of the Mondeo and S-Max.
There will be no three-door hatchback Focus this time round, as Ford intends to make do with a five-door hatch, four-door sedan, and a five-door wagon line-up, complemented by the C-Max and Grand C-Max MPV which sits on the same C-platform, and will also operate the same engines.
Explaining the company’s decision to drop the three-door bodystyle, Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group vice president of Product Development said, “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.”
“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,” he continued.
Five engine options has thus far been unveiled, with petrol and diesel engines displacing either 1.6 or 2.0 litres. Starting the line-up is the all-aluminium 1.6-litre Duratec engine with Twin independent Variable Cam Timing (Ti-VCT) followed by a 1.6-litre EcoBoost motor which adds direct injection and turbocharging into the mix.
You can’t go far in Europe without offering a diesel engine, and for the Focus, diesel power offerings come in 1.6 and 2.0-litre displacements tuned to various power ratings to suit customer needs. A 2.0-litre petrol direct injection engine is available for petrol-favouring markets such as North America.
The previous and current generation Focus have earned plenty of plaudits for its impressive ride & handling characteristics, and Ford is persisting with that formula to ensure the next generation will be similarly well-received. The trademark ‘Control Blade’ multi-link rear suspension has been retained with suitable tweaks for the new generation. Well done for not joining the torsion beam brigade, Ford.
Ford might have sold Volvo to Geely recently, but you wouldn’t have guessed it after examining the new Focus’ specs sheet. Equipment such as Active Park Assist, Lane Keeping Aid and Lane Departure Warning, and Blind Spot Information System would sound more at home in a Volvo S40, but Ford will be offering these and more in the next-generation Focus. Ford must have really ransacked the Volvo parts bin before handing it over to the Chinese.
Production of the all-new Focus will commence at the end of this year at Saarlouis, Germany and Michigan, USA. The Russian plant in St Petersburg will join the fun in mid-2011, while Chongqing, China will roll out the car come 2012. The current Focus will continue production in Valencia, Spain, until mid-2011.
The introduction of a model of such global importance tend to be accompanied by a global test drive event for members of the media at some exotic location. For the Focus, however, Ford is offering members of the public, i.e. you, to be amongst the first people in the world to test drive the vehicle.
Through the “Focus Global Test Drive – Start More Than a Car” programme, coordinated online via the Ford Focus Facebook page, Ford will fly some 100 people from all over the world to southern Europe and spend two days to put the all-new Focus through its paces.
There is a charity theme to the programme, and each of the 100 winners will be given US$10,000 to be contributed to various charitable causes around the world. The task for interested participants is then to submit a video clip to the Focus Facebook page explaining why they should be selected to participate in the event and how they might “Start Something More” with a charitable cause in their community with a donation from Ford.
Participants will be chosen based on a combination of their reach in social networks, content creation skills and volume of “likes” generated, among other factors. Ford also will invite established bloggers and online influencers. Participants will be asked to capture and document their experiences for sharing within their individual social network spheres.