Print 59 comment(s) - last by WUMINJUN.. on Jan 24 at 7:58 PM

Ford's Focus sedan gets a stylish makeover

The hatchback is once again in the lineup

The Focus' swanky new interior
Ford is gunning to gain more ground in the small car segment

Ford today unveiled its next generation Ford Focus global platform.  With the new Focus, Ford is hoping to seize more of compact car market (known as the "C segment" outside the U.S.) from competing models like the Honda Civic, Chevy Cobalt, and Toyota Corolla.

The foundation of the new platform is technological innovation.  The new global platform Ford Focus will receive the company's EcoBoost four-cylinder turbocharged direct injection (DI) engines.  European customers will have the option of getting either a 1.6-liter EcoBoost gas engine or an improved Duratorq TDCi common-rail diesel engine.  U.S. customers won't get the diesel, but they will get a 2.0-liter EcoBoost gas engine that features DI and Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT).  The new engines should provide a bit more horsepower (the 2.0-liter North American engine adds an extra 20 hp compared to its predecessor).  They also should provide 10 to 20 percent gains in fuel economy (a bit over 10 percent, in the North American engine's case).

The North American Focus will also get Ford's new dual-clutch six-speed Ford PowerShift automatic transmission.  The new transmission offers additional fuel economy savings of about 9 percent.  It replaces the manual parts -- torque converters, planetary gears and oil pumps -- found in standard automatics, with a more efficient system that electrically controls the clutch.

The new Focus also may be the first non-hybrid auto to get stop-start technology in the U.S., according to AutoBlog.  This technology allows the vehicle to shut off the engine when stopped, saving fuel, particularly in urban settings.  Ford is targeting a 40+ mpg fuel economy with the stock variant, similar to GM's Chevy Cruze, a key competitor.

A new Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) system has also been added, which Ford says will offer "pure and precise responses at high speed."  The new car also gets a new Dynamic Cornering Control system, which Ford says will yield reduced understeer, improved traction and better turn-in.  Together, Ford says these technologies make a vehicle that is both more fun to drive and safer.

Better materials also make the new vehicle safer.  The new vehicle uses steel for 55 percent of the body shell and ultra-high strength and Boron steels in 26 percent of the vehicle’s structure.  Those improvements pay off in cold hard numbers; the new Focus sports a 25 percent greater rigidity than the current North American Focus.

The new Focus will also get Ford's new MyFord Touch infotainment system.  The new system, which we extensively covered at CES 2010, includes a WebKit browser, canned text messaging, voice-commanded climate controls, improved voice commands, smart phone application APIs (including for voice commands), and more.

Ford feels that its new Focus design is also very stylish.  It calls the vehicle's artistic direction "Kinetic Design".  Ford's press release brags, "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 base variety of the new Focus will be offered in hatchback and sedan forms.  It will be accompanied by the European C-Max and Grand C-Max which will be landing in the U.S. sometime in 2011 and fall under the Focus global design platform.

The next generation Ford Focus won't go on sale until the 2012 model year (2011).  Hybrid and battery electric variants should be coming in the 2013 model year (2012) -- Ford has not committed to hard time frames for their launch.  The electric variant is expected to get 80-100 miles on a charge.  At a recent press event, DailyTech spoke with Ford executives, including CEO Alan Mullaly on their upcoming EV and the company's desire to avoid the temperature-related problems of competitor GM's 2011 Chevy Volt EV.

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Looks great
By IvanAndreevich on 1/11/2010 9:02:14 PM , Rating: 3
Looks kind of like a Scion tC, which is not a bad thing at all. Awesome upgrade!

RE: Looks great
By Brandon Hill on 1/11/2010 9:05:54 PM , Rating: 5
Scion tC? If you say so...

That being said, I'm kicking myself for not buying Ford stock when it was around $2. They have been on an absolute roll -- all without government assistance.

The Fiesta, the new Focus, the Mustang, the Taurus -- not to mention the Fusion Hybrid -- are all great vehicles and the powertrains are awesome. Dual clutch transmissions, turbocharging spreading from the Fiesta all the way to the F-150 (this is getting the EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6).

Sheesh, it's like they can do no wrong these days.

RE: Looks great
By Shig on 1/11/2010 9:12:02 PM , Rating: 3
Great body, Great MPG, Sick Infotainment Center

Sold Ford, Sold.

(The body reminds me a lot of European styling. Renault and Opel especially. Not sure why either).

RE: Looks great
By IvanAndreevich on 1/11/2010 9:30:50 PM , Rating: 2
Because it does look like an Opel Astra too.

RE: Looks great
By Samus on 1/11/2010 10:04:25 PM , Rating: 2
Sweet, finally a worthy successor to my aging (and I mean aging) 2002 SVT Focus. I've held off buying a new one mostly because the current Focus is ugly and underpowered, the Toyota Matrix XRS can't be had with an AWD+Manual combination (and the AWD is 118HP or something really terrible) and well...I could go on, basically there's no hatchback competition for the SVT Focus and it's a decade-old design. Is it seriously that hard for somebody to market a hot hatch with 200-ish HP in the states?

RE: Looks great
By Brandon Hill on 1/11/2010 10:15:18 PM , Rating: 3
Is it seriously that hard for somebody to market a hot hatch with 200-ish HP in the states?

MazdaSpeed3 -- 260+ hp
VW GTI -- 200 hp

Both are doing quite well in the U.S. market.

As for the Focus, we're supposed to be getting an EcoBoost 2.0-liter with 220+ hp here.

RE: Looks great
By Samus on 1/11/2010 10:27:33 PM , Rating: 1
GTI a hot hatch? R32 maybe. GTI doesn't even have independant suspension, probably why you see so many crashed ;)

I love the Golf TDI, though not very fast, it's a great German car.

And yes, I forgot about the MazdaSpeed3. It's a sweet ride, limited slip and all, but I personally don't fancy the styling. I used to own a 1998 Mazda Protege and it was a very dependable (and slow) car. The MazdaSpeed Protege (2003) was styled amazingly well, with one of the best front ends and coolest decklid spoilers I've ever seen (the tri-wing) but they were horrifically unreliable, landing me with an SVT Focus instead (slightly less horrifically unreliable haha)

RE: Looks great
By Brandon Hill on 1/11/2010 10:40:02 PM , Rating: 3
Dude, the VW GTI was the original hot hatch. Don't forget that :)

It's not all about HP. In at least 2 publications, the new MKVI GTI has beat the faster, more powerful second generation MazdaSpeed 3.

RE: Looks great
By Brandon Hill on 1/11/2010 10:42:02 PM , Rating: 3
On a side note, the GTI has had an independent suspension since 2003. Where have you been?

RE: Looks great
By Samus on 1/11/2010 10:53:41 PM , Rating: 2
Are you sure? I thought the IRS was reserved for the R32 (because I know for a fact the 2004 R32 had the Audi TT rear subframe, and the other Golf's did NOT)

And just because its the original, doesn't mean it's still champ :) I'd take an old Escort Cosworth over any GTI!

RE: Looks great
By Brandon Hill on 1/11/2010 10:58:29 PM , Rating: 2
You're thinking of the MKIV R32. MKV and MKVI Jettas/Golfs/GTIs have an IRS.

RE: Looks great
By Samus on 1/12/2010 1:47:00 AM , Rating: 3
Unfortunately the R32 only comes here once every four years, and thats about as often as I pay any attention to Volkswagen. And in 2008 you couldn't even order the R32 with a standard manual gearbox (DSG only) but that seems to be the way of Ferdinand Piech; cross-platforming the VAG's drivetrans. Actually I guess it all started with the Phaeton. Anyway, there's no doubting VW's vehicles in terms of overall quality. They're well built (unless they're built in Mexico, where Ford manages better build quality that Vdub) and over-engineered.

A lot of people don't even realize that Volkswagen [Group] is the worlds largest auto manufacturer, not Toyotoa, GM, Ford, etc. But I've never been interested in them because of their roots. I know its a low blow, but I don't want a vehicle built in the same facility that built Type 82 for hauling Jews.

RE: Looks great
By Calin on 1/12/10, Rating: -1
RE: Looks great
By Samus on 1/12/10, Rating: 0
RE: Looks great
By Mojo the Monkey on 1/12/2010 1:23:24 PM , Rating: 2
unless you're one of the few elite race drivers in the world, and you plan on running through your clutch every 10K miles, you will see better performance when pushing your car with the DSG.

RE: Looks great
By afkrotch on 1/11/2010 10:36:09 PM , Rating: 2
The Toyota FT-86 Concept is being worked on and the Impreza Coupe will come out a little later.

Both will be pretty much the same car, cept the Concept will be RWD and the Impreza will be AWD with more power.

Pics of the FT-86 are out, but won't know if that'll be it's styling when it comes out. The Impreza Coupe isn't near ready yet.

RE: Looks great
By Spoelie on 1/12/2010 5:21:38 AM , Rating: 3
Don't you guys get the focus rs in the states?
Don't think there are any "hotter" hatches..

btw, the hatch's styling on the new one does look a lot sportier than the sedan to me.

RE: Looks great
By Spivonious on 1/12/2010 9:31:30 AM , Rating: 2
Sadly, no we don't. We don't even have a Focus hatch right now.

RE: Looks great
By Spuke on 1/12/2010 12:02:57 PM , Rating: 2
I'm liking this new Focus. The article doesn't say whether or not the 2.0L DI engine is turbocharged or not.

RE: Looks great
By JBird7986 on 1/13/2010 9:10:31 AM , Rating: 3
Umm...Subaru Impreza Hatchback (WRX if you want power)?

RE: Looks great
By FITCamaro on 1/11/2010 9:46:53 PM , Rating: 2
I have to admit it doesn't look bad.

But electric steering sucks balls. I had it on my 06 Cobalt. Was one of the few things I didn't like about the car. I just don't think it'll last as long and it'll be more expensive to fix if it breaks vs. a standard hydraulic pump.

RE: Looks great
By Brandon Hill on 1/11/2010 9:55:09 PM , Rating: 3
If all you can pick on is the electric steering, then I'd say they've got a hit :)

That being said, I don't think electric steering is all that bad in this class -- hell, it was good enough for the Acura NSX and Honda S2000. And electric steering means better fuel economy, less weight, etc. Like anything, it all comes down to implementation.

And power electric steering has been around for over two decades -- you sound like an old man ;) What makes you think it won't last long?

Sucks about the Chevy Cruze though; this Focus just sent it to bed without dinner :)

RE: Looks great
By Samus on 1/11/2010 10:13:43 PM , Rating: 2
Considering the steering rack problems that have plagued the Focus series since its incarnation, I'm certainly not gonna complain about it going electric :)

Even SVT owners that have gone synthetic usually get chocolate colored sludge after 30,000 miles. Adding an ADDITIONAL cooler helps, but this is a problem that isn't just limited to the SVT series, either, because the same racks are used between 2000-2007, although the SVT gets special valving which accelerates the fluids decay. Usually by the time the recommended power steering maintenance comes up (60,000 miles SVT, 100,000 miles standard Focus) its too late and the things leaking all over the backside of your transmission.

RE: Looks great
By AstroGuardian on 1/12/2010 2:39:46 AM , Rating: 1
Maybe because Opel has always been Ford's hardest competition and it's teacher also. When Ford joined the European market it followed Opel's steps, used their engines and chassis, transmissions etc.

If you ask me personally i think that all good ideas have been used. All new vehicles look kinda same to me lately... :(

RE: Looks great
By juuvan on 1/12/2010 4:20:11 AM , Rating: 2
care to provide some facts to support your claim? Ford Europe has been selling and designing cars in UK and Germany from the early 50's. Most of which have no resemblance with the Vauxhall and Opel models back to date.

RE: Looks great
By hashish2020 on 1/13/2010 6:53:20 PM , Rating: 2
Because it largely was designed by Ford Europe?

I don't think people realize that Ford is HUGE in Europe, and by many is considered to be far better than VW (especially in England)

RE: Looks great
By sorry dog on 1/12/2010 8:13:03 AM , Rating: 2
I'm happy to see Ford finally putting out some attractive cars.
why can't GM put forth a decent effort?

RE: Looks great
By hashish2020 on 1/13/2010 6:58:37 PM , Rating: 2
...the Malibu looks better than nearly every car in it's segment (well at least the boring Camry and HIDEOUS Accord sedan), the new Cruze looks great in person (saw a few in China) and has a really nice interior, the new crossovers looks far better than anything the Japanese are putting out

RE: Looks great
By Belard on 1/14/2010 6:17:59 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, the current USA Focus has been UGLY and boring looking for years.

Actually this is slightly changed from the UK/Euro Focus which still looks a bit better. For the new US version, the front bottom grills are made to look BIGGER (and uglier to me)... still much improved over past Focus.


RE: Looks great
By zmatt on 1/13/2010 10:18:28 PM , Rating: 2
I'm really impressed with how Ford has stepped up their game int he past year and a half. It seems after many years of selling their best cars outside of America they finally decided to let us have some fun too.

I can't wait to see reviews of this car. DI turbo 4 with a DSG is awesome in a compact car. And this isn't even the RS model. The Civic Si is about to get a rude awakening.

RE: Looks great
By Jeffk464 on 1/11/2010 10:42:26 PM , Rating: 3
I love the return of the hatchback. It turns a normal car into an almost station wagon without the bad looks. Keep them coming.

RE: Looks great
By WUMINJUN on 1/24/2010 7:58:01 PM , Rating: 2

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Another Hit
By thomp237 on 1/11/2010 9:31:30 PM , Rating: 2
I have been planning on buying a 2011 Fiesta, but with the Focus looking better than I expected I will probably wait and get the Focus instead.

Oh and please, please, PLEASE bring the RS to the US.

Focus RS FTW!

RE: Another Hit
By Samus on 1/11/2010 10:19:20 PM , Rating: 2
Something you all need to keep in mind is these Focii will probably MSRP for $22,000-25,000 in full kit. The reason Ford is bringing the Fiesta here is so it can take the segment the current Focus sells in ($15,000.)

The last time Ford tried to charge $22,000 for a compact car, it [SVT Focus] failed to sell. And they only made 5,000 of them, accounting for less than 3% of total state-side Focus production.

Yes, this car is awesome, and I'll probably replace my SVT Focus with one, but I doubt many people will. If they have a base model close to $15,000 (doubtful, we're talking turbo charging STANDARD) then it might take off, but something tells me it wont be sustainable for Ford when you consider the inherant costs of this cars basic features.

RE: Another Hit
By Brandon Hill on 1/11/2010 10:31:16 PM , Rating: 2
My guess is that the hatch will mirror Mazda 3s Hatch pricing -- so roughly $19,000 to $25,000.

The sedan will probably start a little lower.

RE: Another Hit
By Omega215D on 1/11/2010 10:25:16 PM , Rating: 2
I'm already picturing this car with rally tires and some spoilers... if the RS comes all the more to fantasize about. I used to be a Subaru only guy when it came to that kind of racing or for normal driving but this Focus has got my attention.

RE: Another Hit
By Samus on 1/11/2010 10:31:24 PM , Rating: 2
Dude did you watch the X-Games? The Rally Fiesta was insane...made the Impreza look so sad. Too bad Ford'll probably never sell AWD versions of the Fiesta (or Focus) to the public :(

What no ugly grille?
By Spookster on 1/11/2010 11:54:41 PM , Rating: 2
So did they finally fire the guy who keeps putting those ugly grilles on every Ford vehicle?

RE: What no ugly grille?
By Cullinaire on 1/12/2010 1:57:43 AM , Rating: 2
No, he left on his own.

RE: What no ugly grille?
By Mr Perfect on 1/12/2010 1:28:10 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah, he was picked up by Acura.

RE: What no ugly grille?
By Belard on 1/14/2010 6:19:14 PM , Rating: 2
No duh...

The big ugly solid chrome grills have looks ugly on pretty much everything.

They never quite went with the flow look on the rest of the car.

By TheSmJ on 1/11/2010 9:04:13 PM , Rating: 2
This news makes me a little envious that I bought a 2010 focus late last year. Its an awesome car for the money, but this sounds way better.

RE: Envy.
By Brandon Hill on 1/11/2010 9:10:57 PM , Rating: 2
I know. The new Focus makes the 2010 look like what it really is -- a warmed over vehicle dating back to 1999.

It's a shame that the U.S got the shaft on the second generation Euro Focus. But then again, since we didn't get the second gen, it makes the jump from the 2010/2011 models to the 2012 seem even more dramatic and amazing to U.S. buyers.

RE: Envy.
By Flunk on 1/11/2010 9:58:36 PM , Rating: 2
You could have at least shopped around, there are a lot of other nicer, more modern small cars around. I bought myself a Mazda 3 (which shares quite a lot in common with the European Focus) because the Focus was essentially a 10 year old design, of course that beats the Cobalt that hasn't seem a big change since 1995.

RE: Envy.
By karielash on 1/12/2010 3:34:00 AM , Rating: 2

I'm driving a 2009 Focus SES, and yeah it does look a little dated and the handling (when compared to the Euro models) is not so good, but overall I am very happy with the car, love the Sync system and hitting around 34mpg. Looking at the new Focus I will probably trade in when they come out, the styling is very European which I like a lot.

does it come in yellow?
By lucyfek on 1/11/2010 10:38:22 PM , Rating: 2
the bright one

RE: does it come in yellow?
By Jeffk464 on 1/11/2010 10:45:51 PM , Rating: 2
Nice to see fuel efficient cars are not going to be terrible to drive.

By afkrotch on 1/12/2010 1:11:00 AM , Rating: 2
The problem, will the styling actually transfer over to the US market? Like the Euro Focus is available in majority of the world, but the US ended up with a horribly styled version. They're literally 2 different cars.

RE: Stateside?
By Targon on 1/12/2010 8:34:26 AM , Rating: 2
The 2012 Focus is a "world car" that will be pretty much the same in all markets. I just wish they would move up the sale date to late 2010 since I am still driving a 2001 Focus ZX3, rather than making it a 2012 model.

It almost seems like there will be no 2011 Focus(unless I missed it).

Start/Stop Tech
By GruntboyX on 1/12/2010 8:08:21 AM , Rating: 2
With Start/Stop technology does this thing going run like a golf cart? So i get off the gas and the engine stops? push the gas petal and the engine restarts? Or is there a little hysterious in the way it determines when to shutdown the motor.

I hate to come to a country stop sign to have my motor briefly stop only to have to wait for everything to spool back up. Can some of our European readers shed some light on how this tech works?

RE: Start/Stop Tech
By vilespankmachine on 1/12/2010 10:29:42 PM , Rating: 2
Direct injection, when properly programmed, is suppossed to be able to restart the engine without using the starter.

It will probably work just like a hybrid which can be annoying at times but which can be overridden (just turn on the a/c!), may or may not have a button for it. If you haven't driven a manual transmission hybrid (Civic is what I have driven), when you take it out of gear for a stop sign is when it shuts off, likewise when you push it back into first to go again it restarts automatically. And no, it is not my car, I would never buy it just to get 50mpg, it is awful to drive. If you are that chained to your car move closer to work.

2012 Focus
By CSB on 1/12/2010 10:09:40 AM , Rating: 2
Great looking vehicle!
Is this the one slated to be built at the new Chongqing plant?

RE: 2012 Focus
By rudolphna on 1/12/2010 11:09:43 AM , Rating: 2
No, it's going to be built at the Wayne, Michigan Assembly Plant. The chinese market one will probably be built there, though.

Ford XR5 Turbo - Australia
By deaner on 1/11/2010 11:15:46 PM , Rating: 2
Currently driving a 2004 SVT Focus, I love this new design. However I just came back from Australia, they have the XR5 Turbo Focus, thing is beautiful, why not for the American market?

It's about time...
By bravacentauri83 on 1/11/2010 11:25:53 PM , Rating: 2
About time that Ford made a model that almost looks like the Mondeo. Too bad the Taurus couldn't do this since it shares the same platform.

By ksherman on 1/12/2010 1:16:00 AM , Rating: 2
Someone's gotta say it... I really wish they would bring the diesel engine to the US!!!

By Spuke on 1/12/2010 12:15:02 PM , Rating: 2
It replaces the manual parts -- torque converters, planetary gears and oil pumps -- found in standard automatics, with a more efficient system that electrically controls the clutch.
Sounds like this tranny is more like the new Mercedes Speedshift where it's still an auto but with a clutch replacing the torque converter. Typical dual clutch units are manual transmissions with electronic control of the clutching and shifting.

By vilespankmachine on 1/12/2010 10:33:59 PM , Rating: 2
Article is kind of ambiguous about the engine selection. As of 1/12/10 there has been no announcement of an exact turbocharged engine selection for the North American market, only Ford's general announcement that 90% of it's vehicles will have turbos by '13-'14.

Plan on a higher compression DI 2.0 non-turbo as the base engine.

About time to replace the ugly Focus
By Belard on 1/14/2010 7:11:16 PM , Rating: 2
Ever sense they stop making the EDGE design, the US Focus has become a bit bigger and rather ugly boring looking car along with its stupid head-lights.

The Euro version has always looked better. Still, why is it at least another year before the USA get it? And in a few months the 2011 Fiesta comes out, but it should be called the 2010, duh! I don't think ANY car should get a new year unless its within a few months of the upcoming year or its a very different design change from a previous year model and its in the middle of the year.

They've been making the Focus with left-side driver for quite some time as well (Focus RS).

In Europe, the auto industry doesn't make a big deal over about the YEAR. It seems to be an American marketing stupidity thing.

Anyways, the new US version of the Focus looks 98% like the Euro version. The lower-grill and fog-lights/side grills are made taller for a more aggressive "American" look that is less sporty... WTF? yes, overall the new Focus (US) is a lot better built/looking - but why get rid of its friendly look? Wait, double checking again... I see what they did... smooth Ford, really smooth.

The photos included is a mix of the Focus RS (Front bumper/lower grill) with a normal hood. The main grill is "Americanized" with a less aggressive divider in the middle.

Check out Ford UK (Focus) to see what I mean:

Also in the UK, they have the convertible version of the Focus.

Also check out the Kuga, thats a neat looking cross-over that is easily better looking that the Edge. They look like they may share the same chassis, but body is completely different. (check out the blue pictures) - much better than the Grillie look.

With the Crossovers, not seeing any reason to make the Escape. And the "big SUV truck" market is dying quickly... so perhaps no Expedition. Explorer would be a good "big" SUV. For those who need real towing abilities, the F150 with extended cab is much better than the Expedition and costs less. Besides the Explorer is about as big as an Expedition anyway since the last majore re-design.

Expedition Sales: 2001 = 215K / 2009 = 32K (rounded up)
Explorer Sales: 2001 = 440K / 2009 = 52K (est / rounded)

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