New Ford Focus – Looks As Good As It Drives
New Ford Focus – Looks As
Good As It Drives
AUCKLAND, New Zealand, 14th MAY 2008
The Ford Focus is known for its driving dynamics, safety and affordability so when the development of the new Focus began, the focal point was to make it look as good as it drives.
Unveiled today in Auckland, it appears that the designers have achieved their goal with the car sporting stronger lines and greater presence.
A fresh new kinetic design exterior, upgraded interior, new features and technologies have been combined with the nameplate's acclaimed driving dynamics, to make this Focus a fantastic new car.
With eight variants in the Focus lineup, Ford
New Zealand now has a model range that ticks all the boxes.
No longer just a 2 litre and 1.8 litre diesel offering, the
line up has:
- 1.6L automatic and manual hatch
- 1.6L automatic and manual wagon
- 1.8L diesel wagon
- 2.0L hatch
- 2.0L Zetec
- XR5 Turbo (2.5L hatch)
Mike Gibbon, Brand Manager Passenger Cars at Ford New Zealand believes this line up to be the key to continued success in the compact car segment.
"Ford Focus was the second best selling small car in New Zealand in both 2006 and 2007. Last year it received 14% volume growth and with this new model range we hope to continue this growth pattern," says Gibbon.
"The introduction of the new 1.6L Focus wagon and sedan is a tangible example of how we are increasing our small car offering and providing consumers with choice in a segment that is continuing to grow. It also shows our ongoing dedication to lowering CO2 emissions and providing the New Zealand public with affordable vehicles that can make a positive impact on the environment today.
Like the new Mondeo, this car reflects Fords "energy in motion' philosophy. It has a sleek, dynamic profile that is based on the kinetic design philosophy. However, it is not just the exterior look that has been improved.
"Inside the new Focus we have enhanced comfort levels and added contemporary features and new technology. A soft feel top to the doors, revised centre stack, redesigned window and mirror switches and new levels of technology for connectivity all add to the attraction of the new Focus," says Gibbon.
The Focus safety package has also been enhanced with the new model sporting Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with Traction Control as standard. All models come fitted with an automatic hazard warning light activation system which warns following drivers of emergency braking manoeuvres.
Detailed changes have been made to make the Focus quieter, particularly the diesel models, and manual transmissions benefit from reduced friction by using a new low viscosity transmission oil which does not only contribute to a better fuel economy, but also helps to reduce the forces required for a gear change by up to 14 per cent.
The pricing structure that has been applied to the new Falcon and Mondeo ranges has also been used to determine Focus pricing. Again Ford New Zealand moves away from the high price, high discount thinking towards a more transparent pricing structure that ensures the RRP better reflects the transaction price. Pricing for the Focus will start at $26,190 for the 1.6L 5 door manual and rages up to $44,990 for the XR5 Turbo.
The XR5 Turbo is the hero product of the Focus range and provides the perfect package of power and handling. With a 2.5 litre Duratec 5-cyclinder powertrain, 166KW of power and 320 Nm of torque it has a top speed of 245 km/h.
"The new XR5 Turbo is something quite special, it is about pure dynamics and performance. It’s a complete package that works perfectly together. Ford are particularly proud of this car," says Gibbon.
The New Ford Focus in Detail
1. New Focus:
Ford 'kinetic design'
2. New Focus: Interior Ambience
3. New Focus: Precision Engineering
4. New Focus Safety: Ford Intelligent Protection System
5. New Focus: Driving Quality
1. NEW FOCUS: FORD KINETIC DESIGN
Dynamic New Exterior
The new Focus incorporates the key elements of the kinetic design cues used previously in the Ford Mondeo and Falcon. The redesign transforms the appeal of the Focus range - its more sporty and muscular styling clearly underpinning the 'great-to-drive' character for which the Focus is acclaimed.
Immediately obvious is the new front end, in particular the dynamic new form of the bonnet and the enlarged, trapezoidal opening of the new lower grille, plus newly sculpted headlamps.
The large, inverted lower trapezoid grille is balanced by a smaller upper grille capped with a chrome strip visually linking it to the latest Ford Mondeo model.
Great emphasis has been placed by the Design team on the shape and appearance of the new headlamps. But with the new appearance comes improved illumination, as the dramatic swept back housings are filled with the latest technology and offer improved light distribution, 8 degrees better side lighting, and further reduced glare and scattered light.
At the side, a strong undercut line links the front to the rear – framed by Ford's characteristic bold wheel lips – which gives the vehicle its new sleek profile. The bodyside is clean and uncluttered.
Enlarged exterior door mirrors are contained in housings that integrate side indicators across the range, further simplifying the side profile
From the rear, Focus has a new, wider stance, a newly sculpted tailgate and glass area and a new, fully painted rear valence.
2. NEW FOCUS: INTERIOR AMBIENCE
The dynamic new look of the Focus exterior is complemented by a new interior ambience which features significant detail changes and added features.
Comprehensive improvements were made to create an even more pleasant and user-friendly space for those who travel in a new Focus. For the driver in particular, this has resulted in newly designed instruments providing better legibility which, along with all other interior controls, are now illuminated in red. The controls of the new audio equipment and dual-zone air conditioning system have also been ergonomically improved.
The new XR5 Turbo sports a new console that creates a 'flow through' effect from the centre stack of the instrument panel and helps to create a 'cockpit feel' for the driver and front passenger. It features a movable armrest with 80mm of travel, a four-litre capacity storage compartment, plus two open cup holders with rubber mat, a coin holder and a card holder. It also houses the Ford Power button, which has been positioned near the gear shifter and also includes an auxiliary jack.
The interior ambience of the new XR5 Turbo clearly signals its sporting intent. Racing pedals, a unique handbrake cover and leather gear knob are complemented by carbon-effect finish on the centre stack, centre console and switch bezels.
3. NEW FOCUS: PRECISION ENGINEERING
The new Ford Focus is built with precision and an emphasis on quality and craftsmanship. This is evident both inside the car, and in the engineering and technology enhancements introduced across the new range.
In addition to its dynamic new styling and established on-road agility, the new Focus range now includes a wide variety of available new technologies and innovative features that are designed to make the car even more attractive and enjoyable to own.
• Standard Ford Easyfuel capless refuelling system
• Standard emergency hazard warning light activation system
• 'Ford Power' button for keyless start on the XR5 Turbo
Ford Easyfuel Capless Refuelling
Like the new Ford Mondeo, the new Focus benefits from the acclaimed Ford Easyfuel capless refuelling system.
The lack of a conventional cap that needs to be removed
prior to fuelling the car means that drivers have fewer
things to touch, reducing the likelihood of fingers becoming
tainted with fuel.
The use of mechanical devices around the nozzle opening and a special flap at the top of the fuel filler neck operate together to seal the opening and provide the same assurance that the system is as secure as when a properly fitted separate cap is used on conventional filling systems.
Emergency Hazard Warning Light Activation
All new Focus models benefit from this system as standard. It aids the driver in certain hazardous driving situations, by automatically switching on the hazard warning lights whenever the brake performance is more than 6-7m/s², which is about 60-70 per cent of possible brake performance (10m/s²). Once switched on the hazard warning lights can be switched off automatically by the system, or at any time by pressing the hazard warning light switch.
The proven Focus engine range is comprehensive, and offers customers a wide range of alternatives, whether they want to prioritise cost of ownership, low CO2, or performance.
For petrol customers, the Duratec engine family has been extended to now range from 1.6 to 2.0-litres, 74kW to 107 kW respectively. All 1.6L petrol engines come with either a 5 speed manual transmission or the proven Durashift-FN 4 speed automatic transmission. The 2.0L engine is available with the Durashift-FN 4 speed automatic transmission.
Alongside the standard petrol engine family, the turbocharged 2.5-litre Duratec five-cylinder engine exclusively available in the new Focus XR5 Turbo provides exciting performance and a delightful sound. With 166 kW at 6,000 rpm and a maximum torque of 320 Nm available throughout the range from 1,600 to 4,000 rpm, the Focus XR5 Turbo responds diligently to the enthusiastic driver’s expectations of pure performance, ride and handling. Engine performance sound is directed to the passenger cabin via a so-called 'symposer' to make Focus XR5 Turbo travel an experience to heighten the senses.
The 1.8L Duratorq TDCi diesel engine comes with state-of-the-art common rail injection technology for high efficiency, high pulling power and low fuel consumption. In addition, under full acceleration, the engine calibration allows the maximum nominal torque to be briefly topped by a 20 Nm overboost just when the driver needs it most.
The ever popular 1.8-litre Duratorq TDCi, delivers 85 kW and has a maximum torque of 280 Nm at 1,900 rpm.
4. NEW FOCUS SAFETY: Ford Intelligent Protection System
The Ford Focus has always delivered a no-compromise safety and protection package, and the new model continues this tradition under the Ford Intelligent Protection System (IPS) mantle.
The comprehensive and intelligent new Focus safety package includes six airbags, standard ABS, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, and a rigid passenger cell. DSC with Traction control is now standard equipment as is the standard emergency hazard warning light activation system.
Ford Focus has always been acclaimed for its excellent on-road driving behaviour, and this core attribute remains for every new Focus model. Focus is engineered to flatter the novice driver and reward the expert with assured and predictable controllability, precise steering and confident, benchmark handling.
All new Focus models benefit from the addition of an emergency hazard warning light activation system as standard. It aids the driver in certain hazardous driving situations, by automatically switching on the hazard warning lights whenever the brake performance is more than 6-7m/s², which is about 60-70 per cent of possible brake performance (10m/s²). Once switched on the hazard warning lights can be switched off automatically by the system, or at any time by pressing the hazard warning light switch.
With this new system, the risk of suffering a rear impact whilst braking hard is significantly reduced, as following motorists are warned to slow rapidly by the flashing indicators of the braking Focus.
5. FOCUS DRIVING QUALITY
When launched in Europe in 1998, Focus raised the bar for driving quality in the C segment. Its advanced and friction-optimised components, the newly developed 'Control Blade' multilink rear suspension, the front MacPherson spring struts and the semi-isolated front subframe combined to give the Focus the optimum balance of ride, handling, steering precision and comfort.
While the first Focus set the standard, the all-new 2004 model - in which the wheelbase was increased by 25 mm, the track by 40 mm, and numerous improved details to axle and spring elements, bearings and anti-roll bars were introduced – moved the Focus story on even further. Notably, the introduction of the electro-hydraulic EHPAS steering gave the car new levels of refinement and ensured its continued position as segment leader for driving dynamics, a key Ford brand characteristic that remains a true passion for the engineering team.
Detail changes have been made to make the Focus quieter in terms of NVH. While manual transmissions benefit from reduced friction by using a new low viscosity transmission oil which does not only contribute to a better fuel economy, but also helps to reduce the forces required for a gear change by up to 14 per cent.
– A Driver's Car
Ford’s relentless development and industry-leading technical expertise ensures that Focus is a genuine driver’s car. It gives the impression of being connected to the road, reacting intuitively between the road and the driver, with smooth and linear feedback and enhanced predictability under all driving conditions. Excellent road feedback and precise steering control are enhanced by a high degree of torsional stiffness within the body structure, providing a fluid ride quality.
A stiff front subframe is complemented by the rear Control Blade suspension with its hydrobush design featuring a system of water filled pockets connected to an oil reservoir to deliver carefully tuned damping force. In order to ensure that initial roll movements of the vehicle are better controlled, the engineers implemented an improved rear anti-roll bar drop link with special low friction double ball joints.
The chassis includes MacPherson struts, large front dampers, gas-filled twin tube struts and rebound springs. The front lower control arms are mounted to the subframe by two horizontal bushes that have been carefully tuned to provide increased vehicle stability under braking, support the overall approach of low lateral compliance (important for high levels of steering precision) and allow for good impact absorption.
The Focus front subframe provides a significant amount of stiffness at the attachment points which, together with wide support base and stiff Anti-Roll Bar attachments, results in maximum cornering efficiency and roll control for comfort and real handling confidence. Road holding is impressive: Focus continues to display agility with class-leading ride quality to prove that ideal body control and cornering prowess do not demand harsh suspension settings.
The Focus Electric-hydraulic power-assisted steering (EHPAS) system makes low speed manoeuvres easy while preserving precision on the open road. Large diameter brakes also provide excellent ‘feel’, optimum emergency stopping power and long brake pad life.
The Focus body structure also plays a major role in the car’s driving quality. New Focus has been engineered to the same high torsional stiffness levels as its predecessor.
Drivers will appreciate in the well balanced performance comfort and signature agility, stability and precise reaction to steering inputs. The new chassis has been engineered to provide vibration isolation and stable, confidence-enhancing body control, making it reassuringly comfortable even on coarse roads.
Focus Brakes – Assured performance
The Focus braking system is summed up in three words: confident, intuitive and comfortable. Designed and built without compromise to deliver assured performance and to reduce braking distances to a minimum, the braking system delivers a very smooth and defined initial bite at low speeds to optimise urban performance. The relationship between pedal travel and braking force is perfectly balanced, bringing a great feeling of confidence at all speeds. In addition, the new Focus now comes with standard Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and with Traction Control.
Focus Steering –
Precise at all speeds
For ideally weighted, precise steering at all speeds, the Ford Focus is equipped with Electro-Hydraulic Power Assisted Steering (EHPAS).
An electro-motor driven pump uses vehicle speed and steering wheel speed as input to calculate the optimum PAS support. It provides class-leading low efforts at the wheel at low speed – ideal when parking – and still provides smooth and progressive feedback when cornering at speed.
The Focus EHPAS system is not dependent on engine speed, making it exceptionally energy efficient. This results in a fuel saving of up to one-fifth of a litre per 100 kilometres, or roughly 3 per cent versus traditional hydraulic PAS systems, as EHPAS effectively ‘reads’ the driving environment and responds accordingly. A stiff steering column plus stiff suspension and steering gear bushes, plus the geometric precision of the Focus steering and suspension systems also contribute to more responsive control.
Ford can now confirm availability of the new Focus range in New Zealand from 1st June 2008, adding the new 1.6 litre engine and a 2.5 litre Turbo XR5 variant to the line-up.
1.6 litre 5 Door, Manual $26,190
1.6 litre, 5 Door, Automatic $27,690
1.6 litre, Wagon, Manual $27,890
2.0 litre, 5 Door, Manual $28,890
1.6 litre, Wagon Automatic $29,390
2.0 litre, 5 Door, Automatic $30,390
1.8 litre, TD Wagon Manual $30,890
2.0 litre Zetec 5 Door, Automatic $34,490
2.5 litre Turbo XR5 5 Door, Manual $44,990
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With about 245,000 employees and about 100 plants worldwide, the company’s core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.fordvehicles.com.