The all-new Focus is the first vehicle globally to be based on Ford's new C2 platform created 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. The sporty-looking ST Line trim and the luxurious Vignale are both due for a release in 2018. An estate version has also been launched, which, aside from the Active model, boasts an identical trim line-up. Recall, Ford is retooling the current Focus' plant in MI for Ranger and Bronco production.
It features the automaker's latest safety technology, including the Ford CoPilot360 suite of driver aids, which comes with pedestrian-detecting automatic brakes, adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist among other features. Ford will also offer 1.5-litre EcoBoost (148bhp or 180bhp) petrols and a 148bhp EcoBlue diesel, while an eight-speed automatic transmission will be available for engines at 118bhp or more. The lighter 1.0-litre EcoBoost and 1.5-litre EcoBlue will use a torsion beam, which Ford would rather refer to as a twist-beam, but infused with Ford-patented force vectoring spring technology borrowed from the Fiesta ST.
No word on a price of the new model just yet, nor the hybrid version, but obviously we will keep you posted.
Ford's first Head-up display (HUD) to be offered in Europe, helping drivers focus their attention on the road ahead.
Ford's director of product communications, Jay Ward, tweeted on the launch of the new Focus this morning: "It's here!" The family hatch will be £2210 cheaper than the outgoing model and be cheaper to run thanks to a new range of petrol and diesel engines.
We are still waiting for Ford to take the covers off the Ford Edge ST model and while we will have to wait a little longer for that, at least Ford is now willing to reveal more about the game. Consider the fact that the new auto is 20 per cent stiffer, and it's clear Ford wants to regain its crown of having the best-handling family hatchback.
Ford has sold more than 16 million units of the Focus since its launch in 1998, almost seven million of which found homes in Europe.
The styling is quite a departure from earlier Focus, with a rather Volvo-esque LED daytime running light pattern.
Inside, the most obvious difference in the all-new Focus is that it's missing a conventional gear shifter. The Focus also introduces the brand's new FordPass Connect system that includes a WiFi hotspot for up to 10 devices and Live updates for the sat-nav. Other tech upgrades include Ford's Sync 3 infotainment system, an available eight-inch touchscreen, wireless smartphone charging and remote vehicle management.
For a family hatch, the last-generation Focus wasn't as practical as you might think, with limited rear space and a boot size that rivals easily exceeded.