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.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

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.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

Most Popular ArticlesAMD, Zen Processor might power the upcoming Apple MacBook Pro
September 30, 2016, 5:00 AM
Leaked – Samsung S8 is a Dream and a Dream 2
September 25, 2016, 8:00 AM
Are you ready for this ? HyperDrive Aircraft
September 24, 2016, 9:29 AM
Inspiron Laptops & 2-in-1 PCs
September 25, 2016, 9:00 AM
Apple’s Siri Speaker is a Game Changer
September 26, 2016, 5:00 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki