Ford has worked hard over the past few years to completely overhaul its entire model line. Recent product launches like the 2011 Mustang and Fiesta show that FoMoCo is committed to making class-leading vehicles, and the larger (ahem) focus on style, quality and packaging is nothing short of impressive.
Perhaps the most important new car launch for Ford, however, is the 2012 Focus, which makes its world premiere at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. This is the first product designed from the ground up with the Blue Oval's "One Ford" product strategy, and Ford's group vice president of product development says the Focus is the automaker's "flagship" for global vehicles. The Focus you see here will be sold in both North America and Europe with only very minor tweaks being made for the individual markets. Not even the original Focus that was sold in both markets when it debuted back in 1999 shared so much with its sibling on the other side of the Atlantic.
It certainly looks good, and with a raft of new engineering, safety and infotainment technologies on hand, the 2012 Focus is ready to set the C-segment on fire.
The 2012 Focus will be available as both a sedan and hatchback in North America. Ford has killed the Focus coupe because, as Editor Paukert points out in his analysis of U.S. hatchback sales, Americans are more accepting of five-door body styles than many automakers had originally thought. Other markets will receive a third Focus variant – a wagon – though Ford has no plans to offer this cargo-hauler in the United States anytime soon.
Visually, the new Focus is a striking little car. Ford's kinetic design language is in full swing here with the automaker's new trapezoidal front fascia broken off into three sections. Strong body lines are present on both the hatchback and sedan, and little details like the integration of the fuel door into the hatch's rear taillight wraparound show that Ford has paid a lot of attention to creating great design. One sad fact, though – we're told that the cool LED eyebrows seen on the Euro-spec cars in these photos will not make it to North American models. Rats.
The Focus is 171.6 inches long (the sedan adds 6.9 inches to that), 71.7 inches wide and 57.8 inches tall, and rides on a 104.2-inch wheelbase. This puts it right in line with other North American C-segment vehicles – the sedan, for example, is only slightly larger than a Honda Civic, and the hatch is roughly the same size as a Mazda3.
Between the two body styles, four trim levels will be available in North America – S, SE, SEL and Titanium. The base S trim can only be had on the sedan, and Ford expects the SE and SEL trims to make up the vast majority of Focus sales. Wheel sizes range from 15-inch steelies on the S all the way up to attractive 17-inch alloys on the Titanium. Naturally, the automaker's latest MyFord Touch infotainment system will be featured in the Focus, and it's standard fare on the SEL and Titanium. The top-end Focus is stocked to the brim with features and goodies, including a slightly tuned suspension, Sony sound system with HD radio and high-end interior materials. We'll be seeing more Titanium-badged models from Ford, as well, starting with the 2011 Flex.
Speaking of interior refinement, we recently had the chance to sit inside a couple of pre-production Focuses (Foci?) at Ford's product development center in Dearborn, Michigan. The 2012 Focus' cabin is worlds better than the current coupe and sedan, and we'd need to spend a bit more time inside a Civic to see if it still earns the honor of having the most buttoned-down fit and finish. Beyond that, though, the Focus' cabin is as aesthetically pleasing as it is comfortable and functional, though the addition of the eight-inch LCD display for the MyFord Touch system aids in giving the interior a substantially more upscale feel. Take note, Honda.
What most intrigues us about the Focus, however, is the new 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine slated for North American consumption. Obviously, other markets get to choose from delicious 1.6- and 2.0-liter Duratorq diesel offerings, as well as a 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder, but consumers here in the States should be rather pleased with what the naturally aspirated 2.0-liter mill has to offer. This engine uses direct injection and Ford's twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) to produce 158 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque.
As for transmissions, Ford is offering its six-speed Powershift dual-clutch automatic as the standard unit, though a five-speed manual (yes, five-speed) is available. If you want the manual, you'll have to make due with the S or SE trim levels, though a select shift function is standard on the SEL and Titanium (without steering-mounted paddle shifters, natch).
By using direct injection and Ti-VCT technology, Ford is hoping to achieve an EPA fuel economy rating of 40 miles per gallon (highway) for the 6AT Focus SE sedan. Fuel economy won't necessarily be as good for higher trims or hatchbacks, and if you get the five-speed manual, expect to see mileage closer to the low/mid-30s. Still, that isn't bad. Eco-minded drivers will be happy to know that Ford has fitted a smorgasbord of technology into making the Focus as efficient as possible, including things like an active grille shutter that improves drag at higher speeds (much like the Chevrolet Cruze employs to help hit 40 mpg), low-rolling resistance tires and even a new "Eco Route" function in the MyFord Touch navigation. By selecting Eco Route, the nav system directs you down the path that will prove to the most economical.
On the road, we imagine the Focus to be a far more engaging steer than the relatively bland coupe and sedan currently roaming the streets of North America. The new Focus' body is 31 percent stiffer than the outgoing model, and the use of a quicker steering ratio and electronic power assist means piloting the new C-car should be a far more involving experience than we've ever experienced from a Focus. We recently stumbled upon a video of a Focus prototype doing its dirty work on a track at Ford's proving grounds, and if what we've seen is anything on which to base our judgments, we expect to be pleased with how the new sedan and hatch move about.
Beyond the more powerful engine and body and steering enhancements, Ford has fitted the new Focus with a torque-vectoring control system, which manages power delivery to each of its front wheels. Since the Focus is front-wheel-drive, this torque-vectoring system uses the rear brakes to keep things stable out at the back end. It's nice to see this sort of technology being used on the volume model Foci, but we're most interested to see how this all comes together on the 247-horsepower Focus ST, which has also been confirmed for American consumption. (Consider our mouths watering.)
Pricing will be announced later this year with an online configurator launching in October. With all of the added functionality and content, we fully expect the 2012 Focus to command a bit more coin than the current model. Our best guess is that pricing will start just below $17,000, but don't be surprised if a loaded-up Focus Titanium soars to around $24,000. Ford will be smart to keep the pricing competitive, but don't expect bargain pricing for this premium small car.
When the Focus goes on sale early next year, the world will finally get to taste the fruits of Ford's global product strategy. We'll be seeing more and more global vehicles coming our way, including the Grand C-Max, and next-generation versions of the Fusion (Mondeo), Fiesta and Escape. If this 2012 Focus is only the start of what's to come down the global pipeline, the future looks very bright, indeed.
Ford's official press release is available below, as is a high-res image gallery and videos of each Focus body style.
• Three bodystyles of the exciting new next-generation global Ford Focus line up
together for the first time at the 2010 Paris Motor Show
• Sporty five-door hatchback, sleek four-door sedan and stylish five-door wagon
Focus models take centre stage on Ford's stand at Paris
• New Focus combines dynamic design and exceptional array of smart new
technologies with high levels of craftsmanship, outstanding occupant safety and
further advances in acclaimed levels of driving quality
• Class-leading range of advanced technologies includes Low Speed Safety System,
Active Park Assist, Lane Keeping Aid and Torque Vectoring Control
• European engine line-up confirmed with fuel-efficient, low-CO2 powertrains
including new 1.6-litre Ford EcoBoost petrol engine and completely updated
1.6- and 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel engines
• Ford Auto-Start-Stop system will be standard on 1.6-litre EcoBoost and 1.6-litre
TDCi engines for optimum efficiency; 1.6 TDCi achieves 109g/km CO2 emissions
• Ultra-low CO2 Focus ECOnetic model to follow later in 2011
• European production starts in Saarlouis, Germany at the end of 2010 prior to sales
launch in early 2011; current Focus to continue production in Valencia, Spain
until mid-2011 to satisfy market demand
• North American production in Michigan, USA starts simultaneously in late 2010.
Asia, Africa and South America production to follow
The exciting new next-generation Ford Focus is gearing up for its sales launch early in
2011, with the core three-model line-up seen together for the first time at the 2010 Paris
The sporty five-door hatchback, sleek four-door sedan and stylish five-door wagon Focus
models take centre stage on the Ford stand, revealed in full detail ahead of the production
start in Europe and North America in late 2010.
Focus is Ford's most significant nameplate globally. With over 10 million examples sold
since its launch in 1998, the Ford Focus has become a firm favourite with consumers
worldwide for its outstanding value, comfort and safety, and above all, for being great fun
Following an unprecedented global development program under the company's ONE Ford
strategy, the next-generation Focus is set to continue the successful tradition of its
predecessors and demonstrates how Ford is changing.
Distinguished by its sleek and sporty design, the new Focus is packed with more affordable
technologies and features than ever before in this segment. The next-generation Focus also
offers customers the highest standards of quality and detailed craftsmanship, outstanding
fuel economy, and takes the legendary Focus driving dynamics to a new level.
"The new Focus truly represents the best of Ford Motor Company, and we are excited that
the first vehicles will be in customers' hands very soon," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford's group
vice president of Product Development. "The investment in our new C-car platform has
enabled us to provide global consumers with an affordable product which offers quality,
fuel efficiency, safety and technology beyond their expectations."
Developed in Europe, For Sale Worldwide
Developed in Europe, for sale in over 120 markets worldwide with 80 per cent parts
commonality, the next-generation Focus is the hero model created from Ford Motor
Company's new global C-segment platform. This platform will underpin at least ten
vehicles around the world and account for two million units of annual production by 2012.
"The presentation of the three core Focus bodystyles here in Paris is another key milestone
in our global C-car strategy," said Kuzak. "In just a few months, Focus production will
start simultaneously in the Saarlouis and Michigan assembly plants, as we begin to realise
the vision of delivering at least ten new derivatives from the same platform globally."
At Paris, Ford is also confirming that the three-model next-generation Focus range will not
be expanded with additional three-door or Coupé-Cabriolet derivatives.
"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," Kuzak explained.
"The three-model Focus range provides the ideal blend of sporty, dynamic looks and everyday
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."
Ford has promised to add a performance Focus model to the next-generation line-up, and at
Paris the company is previewing how that model will look when introduced in 2012. The
exciting new Focus ST model is revealed at Paris and its 250 PS Ford EcoBoost powerplant
will deliver driving enjoyment designed to match its outstanding looks.
Global Focus Production Gets Underway
The lead Ford Focus assembly plants in Saarlouis (Germany) and Michigan (USA) are
currently preparing for a simultaneous manufacturing launch towards the end of 2010.
The Saarlouis plant will produce all three Focus bodystyles, while production at Michigan
will concentrate on the 4-door and 5-door derivatives.
European production will be expanded in mid-2011 when the assembly plant in St.
Petersburg (Russia) starts building the new 4-door and 5-door models. The next stage sees
Focus manufacturing extend into Asia Pacific, as the Chongqing (China) plant comes on
stream in early 2012.
To ensure that the strong European demand for the Focus brand can be satisfied while the
Saarlouis plant ramps up production of the new model, the current Focus will continue to
be produced in Valencia (Spain) until mid-2011.
"Demand for the current model remains extremely high across Europe, with a whole
generation of customers who have a strong loyalty to the Focus brand," said Stephen Odell,
Ford of Europe Chairman and CEO. "Continuing current Focus production in Valencia
will enable us to offer those customers good availability and the best possible value while
Saarlouis ramps up to full production of the new model."
Striking, Streamlined Design
The three Focus bodystyles models share a sporty and dynamic character, marking the next
evolution of Ford's acclaimed kinetic design form language, which has contributed to the
growing popularity of the company's latest small and medium cars.
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.
The low, streamlined profile with its steeply raked front screen also contributes to an
impressively aerodynamic body shape, which helps to minimise fuel consumption.
The slippery shape, plus carefully optimised aerodynamic details throughout the vehicle –
the Focus follows the new Mondeo in featuring an active grille shutter to block airflow
through the cooling system when it is not required – has resulted in a significantly
reductions in drag.
The European 4-door model has a drag coefficient (CD) of 0.27, compared to a figure of
0.30 for the current model.
Stylish, Functional Interior
The dynamic quality of the exterior is reinforced by the distinctive design of the interior.
The new Focus has a 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.
Within the cockpit, the most significant innovation is the company's next-generation 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. On high series vehicles,
the MyFord system includes an 8-inch touch screen, allowing the driver to control a wide
range of functions via a clear and intuitive colour display.
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 wide variety of external devices and media
The interior combines outstanding functionality with outstanding 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.
The new Focus Wagon on show in Paris with its interior for the first time enhances this
premium feel still further by featuring a leather interior package from the exclusive range of
Ford Individual vehicle personalisation options which are being specially developed for the
The show vehicle has luxurious black premium leather trim on the seats, door panels,
central armrest and instrument cluster hood, complete with contrasting stitching. The full
Ford Individual range for the new Focus will be revealed closer to the launch.
Smart Technology for Safety and Practicality
The global scale of Ford's C-car programme makes more technologies and features
economically viable than ever before for cars in this segment. This has enabled Focus
engineers to make an exceptional range of innovative technologies available to meet the
needs of consumers worldwide.
The number of features offered in each market will vary according to local customer
demand and acceptance, although because the full range of technologies has been
engineered for the vehicle, additional features could be made available in the future to meet
changing customer requirements.
In the European market, this substantial technology investment for the next-generation
Focus promises clear leadership in the C-segment, and also offers customers an exciting
array of advanced features generally found only in larger and more expensive vehicles.
A key innovation in the new Focus is the new Low Speed Safety System, which appears in
a Ford vehicle for the first time. The system is designed to help drivers avoid the kind of
low speed frontal collisions which are very common in congested urban driving conditions,
and operates at speeds below 30 km/h (20 mph).
Using a forward facing optical sensor, this system detects objects in front of the car and
continuously (50 times per second) calculates the brake force required to avoid a collision.
If the system considers that a collision is imminent and the driver is not taking any action, it
automatically reduces throttle input and applies the brakes.
The comprehensive range of smart driver assistance technologies available on the new Focus also includes:
• Active Park Assist
• Lane Keeping Aid and Lane Departure Warning
• Auto High Beam
• Traffic Sign Recognition
• Driver Alert
• Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Alert and Collision Mitigation by Braking
• Blind Spot Information System
• Speed Limiter
• Rear Seat Beltminder
• Power Child Locks
• Rear View Camera
Unmatched Driving Quality
When it was introduced in 1998, the original Ford Focus brought new levels of agility and
responsiveness to the C-segment. The next-generation 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.
To deliver this performance, 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 subframe.
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.
Ford's European driving dynamics specialists have also enhanced cornering stability and
agility with the introduction of an advanced Torque Vectoring Control system, which acts
like a torque vectoring differential to constantly balance the distribution of torque between
the front wheels, resulting in reduced understeer, improved traction and better turn-in.
The system is particularly effective as the car accelerates through corners, applying an
imperceptible amount of braking to the front inside wheel, so that more of the engine torque
goes to the outside wheel which has more grip. This makes the car feel smaller and more
agile, reacting faster to driver steering inputs, with handling characteristics that will delight
committed sports-car drivers and assist less experienced drivers in difficult conditions.
Spirited 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
The European powertrain line-up for the new Focus includes the state-of-the-art 1.6-litre
Ford EcoBoost turbocharged direct injection petrol engine, and a choice of advanced and
improved Duratorq TDCi common-rail diesel engines, all of which offer significant
reductions in fuel consumption compared to the outgoing model.
150 PS/180 PS 1.6-litre Ford EcoBoost
Leading the petrol engine range is the brand new 1.6-litre Ford EcoBoost unit, which is
available in 150 PS and 180 PS versions.
One of a completely new generation of downsized, high-efficiency, low-CO2 petrol engines
from Ford, the 1.6-litre Ford EcoBoost is a lightweight, all-aluminium design which
combines three technologies – a centrally-mounted high-pressure direct injection system,
low-inertia turbocharging and twin independent variable cam timing (Ti-VCT) – to create
an advanced combustion system which brings new levels of performance and fuel
efficiency to petrol engines in this power range.
This powerful combination of technologies makes it possible for the 1.6-litre Ford
EcoBoost engine to deliver the strong low-end torque and responsive performance of a
large capacity engine, but with the size, weight and fuel economy of a much smaller unit.
Both 150 PS and 180 PS variants combine impressive peak power with pulling power at
low engine speeds which matches that of the latest-generation diesel engines, with the
180 PS unit delivering maximum torque of 240 Nm from 1,600 to 5,000 rpm, with 270 Nm
available during hard acceleration via the transient overboost feature.
In the Focus five-door, the 180 PS Ford EcoBoost engine achieves a top speed of 222 km/h
(138 mph) and a 0-100km/h (62 mph) time of 7.9 seconds, while still returning impressive
average fuel consumption of 6.0 litres/100 km (47 mpg) and CO2 emissions of 139g/km.
105 PS/125 PS 1.6-litre Ford Duratec Ti-VCT
The petrol engine line-up in the Focus also includes Ford's proven 1.6-litre Duratec
Ti-VCT unit with outputs of 105 PS and 125 PS.
The responsive and economical all-aluminium 16-valve Ti-VCT engine has been further
optimised and tuned, with reduced internal friction and improved breathing in the exhaust
system, to deliver reduced fuel consumption and enhanced torque output.
95 PS/115 PS 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi
The 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel has been completely updated with changes to the
combustion system, fuel injection system and turbocharger to deliver improved
performance, fuel economy and refinement.
Focus customers can choose between two different power ratings: 95 PS and 115 PS. Both
variants offer ample pulling power and a broad spread of torque, while the 115 PS engine
delivers extra performance via the transient overboost feature which increases peak torque
from 270 Nm to 285 Nm during hard acceleration.
This powertrain also offers exceptional economy, achieving average fuel consumption of
4.2 litres/100 km (67 mpg)* and CO2 emissions of 109g/km.
115 PS/140 PS/163 PS 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi
Like its smaller counterpart, the 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel has been comprehensively
re-engineered to deliver increased power and torque to the diesel line-up in the Focus, but
not at the expense of fuel economy and CO2 emissions.
Paired with a 6-speed manual transmission, the 2.0-litre TDCi is available in 140 PS and
163 PS ratings, while the Focus can also be specified with the high-efficiency Ford
PowerShift 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with the 115 PS, 140 PS and
163 PS versions of the engine.
160 PS 2.0-litre DI Ti-VCT for North America
For the North American market, and selected other markets which favour petrol
powertrains, the new Focus is fitted with a completely new 160 PS 2.0-litre petrol engine
which combines high-pressure direct injection and twin independent variable camshaft
timing for enhanced performance and fuel efficiency.
The new 2.0-litre DI Ti-VCT engine is up to 20 horsepower more powerful than the current
2.0 Duratec I-4 unit featured in the North American Focus, while contributing to projected
fuel economy gains of more than 10 per cent.
To maximise its performance and economy advantage, the 2.0-litre DI Ti-VCT engine is
mated with the latest dry-clutch six-speed Ford PowerShift automatic transmission.With its
high-efficiency dual dry-clutch design, the transmission alone can help to reduce fuel
consumption by up to 9 per cent compared to a traditional four-speed automatic.
Ford ECOnetic Technologies Minimise CO2
In addition to the highly efficient petrol and diesel powertrain offering, the new Focus
range also incorporates other features from the Ford ECOnetic Technologies programme to
help minimise fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
Most notably, the Focus is the first Ford model to standardise Ford Auto-Start-Stop
technology across a significant part of the range. All vehicles with the 1.6-litre Ford
EcoBoost petrol engine and the 1.6-litre TDCi diesel engine – equating to around 50 per
cent of the European sales volume – are equipped with Ford Auto-Start-Stop, which
typically reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 10 per cent in urban
For the ultimate in efficiency, the Focus range will be available with a dedicated, ultra-low
CO2 ECOnetic derivative later in 2011.
"We are determined to take a leadership position on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions,
and optimising efficiency has been an absolute priority during the development of the new
Focus," said Derrick Kuzak. "By making new technologies like our Ford EcoBoost engines
and Ford Auto-Start-Stop widely available to C-car customers, we are making a significant
step forward in reducing the environmental impact of our products."
Launching the New Focus
"With the launch just a few months away, we are very excited about introducing the new
Ford Focus to the European market," said Stephen Odell. "With its desirable combination
of dynamic design, outstanding driver appeal, unmatched levels of technology and
impressive fuel economy, we believe that the new model will expand the appeal of the
Focus brand to a whole new generation of customers."