Before trotting out its three concept cars, the Ford Motor Company took the opportunity at the Detroit Auto Show to publicly unveil the redesigned 2008 Focus and Five Hundred.
Much has been written of the Focus' controversial new styling. In person, it seems uninspired, with several features that don't seem to work well with each other. What's with that triangular vent on the front fender - was this an attempt to share design language with the new Super Duty? The good news is that the interior appears relatively nice for an economy car, and the new Ford/Microsoft Sync feature will be available. The car also lost 60 lbs during the redesign, which is almost unheard of nowadays.
The first thought upon seeing Ford's press shots of the Five Hundred was that the new front end had a flat squashed appearance, but in the flesh, it appears to be proportioned properly. The new sheetmetal probably won't end complaints about the sedan's bland styling, however and the interior is also a bit undistinguished. Obviously we didn't get to sample the new Duratec 35 powerplant, but potential buyers will likely find that to be the most significant change.
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