• Ford adds first Focus Active crossover and upscale Focus Vignale
  • New Stop & Go, Speed Sign Recognition and Lane-Centring technologies help negotiate stop-start traffic
  • Predictive curve light and Sign-based light help drivers see more clearly
  • First head-up display (HUD) for a Ford model in Europe
  • Active Park Assist 2 enables fully automated parking manoeuvres at the push of a button
New Focus in Active form

New Focus in Active form

Ford has shown its new Ford Focus (fourth generation) which it says introduces a new human-centric design philosophy that 'fuses emotional exterior styling with class-leading aerodynamics; and delivers an interior offering more space combined with high quality materials and craftsmanship'.

Ford also says the most sophisticated range of Ford driver assistance technologies ever offered to Ford customers is also included for the new model.

Advanced technologies include:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) now enhanced with Stop & Go, Speed Sign Recognition and Lane-Centring for 'effortlessly negotiating stop-start traffic'
  • Ford's Adaptive Front Lighting System with new camera-based Predictive curve light and Sign-based light that pre-adjust headlamp patterns for improved visibility by monitoring bends in the road and – in a claimed first – road signs
  • Active Park Assist 2 that now also operates gear selection, acceleration and braking to enable fully-automated manoeuvres at the push of a button
  • Ford's first head-up display (HUD) to be offered in Europe, helping drivers focus their attention on the road ahead
  • Evasive Steering Assist, a 'segment-first technology that helps drivers steer around stopped or slower vehicles to help avoid collisions'

The new Focus will hit the market some twenty years after the first generation model which helped to transform - for the better - the image of Ford in what was then Europe's largest market segment (C-segment, lower medium, hatchback).

Ford says the occupant experience in the new model is further enhanced with a FordPass Connect embedded modem for connectivity on the move and a new wireless charging pad for compatible smartphone devices.

Powertrain options include a further optimised version of Ford's 1.0-litre EcoBoost and new 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engine, both enhanced with Ford's new cylinder deactivation application for three-cylinder engines. There are also new 1.5-litre EcoBlue and 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engines and a new 'intelligent eight-speed automatic transmission adapts shift patterns to driving style', and is controlled using a 'Rotary Gear Shift Dial'.

"Our all-new Ford Focus is the pinnacle of technology and driving appeal in its segment," said Joe Bakaj, vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe. "The chance to build a completely new car from a fresh piece of paper does not come around often. We grabbed it with both hands, to develop the best mid-size family car that money can buy."

The new model will be available in five-door hatchback, wagon and - in selected markets - four-door body styles.

Trim levels include Focus Trend and Titanium, sporty Focus ST-Line, upscale Focus Vignale and the first Focus Active crossover.

The new Focus is the first vehicle globally to be based on Ford's new C2 platform that Ford says is 'designed to enhance crash performance; deliver more interior space for Ford's mid-size models without negatively impacting exterior dimensions; and support improved aerodynamics for better fuel-efficiency'.

Ford says a EUR600m investment was made to manufacture the car at Ford's Saarlouis assembly facility in Germany.

"Focus has been our heartland in Europe for two decades. Leading the pack for design, technology and driving fun, it encapsulates everything our customers love about Ford," said Steven Armstrong, group vice president and president, Europe Middle East and Africa, Ford Motor Company. "With mid-size family cars accounting for almost one-in-five sales across Europe last year, Focus remains as important as ever to our company and our customers, which is why we've put so much energy into developing an all-new model that is among the very best cars we've ever produced."

According to just-auto's QUBE/PLDB service, there should be a long-wheelbase sedan for China and selected other markets. There may also be a replacement for the slow selling Focus Electric but with a much improved range. The new Focus' platform will become arguably Ford's most important architecture, given that it will become the basis of so many cars, crossovers and SUVs. It should be built in standard and evolved form for more than 15 years. Average lifecycle volume for the model at Saarlouis is forecast at around 300,000 units a year, with some 80,000 a year eventually made in Russia and 100,000 pa anticipated at Harbin, in China.

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