Ten things you didn’t know about the new Ford Focus
THE new Ford Focus – the third generation of Ford’s brilliant best-selling hatchback has been radically redesigned for a transformational new look.
Its profile is lower and longer for a sportier appearance. There’s an imposing front grille. Items such as alloy wheels are standard across the new Focus range.
Inside you’ll find more legroom and storage space than ever before.
So here are some of the things you might not know but we had a chance to find out. The new Ford Focus is on sale now with first deliveries in September.
- Four key derivatives
There are four different all-new Focus derivatives to choose from: The ST-Line, Vignale and Active plus the five door hatch make up the range.
The new five-door hatch and estate – like the rest of the range – are all based on Ford’s new C2 platform.
This has been designed to enhance crash performance; deliver more interior space without impacting the car’s exterior dimensions; and to provide improved aerodynamics for better fuel-efficiency.
But there are specific derivatives to broaden the appeal of the all-new Focus.
The Focus ST-Line is altogether more aggressive with its rear diffuser and larger roof-spoiler and large frontal air intakes.
The Focus Vignale is a more elegant rendition of the Focus theme, with a different frontal treatment and full width lower front aperture. Other stand out features include satin aluminium finishes for the roof rails, fascia and lower side rail, and signature Vignale grille mesh.
The Focus Active provides a more elevated Focus for active lifestylers. Its higher ground clearance and ruggedness is emphasised by protective black wheel arch and side claddings, front and rear skid plates and lower side rails painted in contrast silver, and a bespoke front end design.
- Pothole beater
Potholes have become the curse of all motorists, leaving your car at the mercy of dangerously deep holes in the road. And the cost of potential repair.
But the all-new Focus has new technology to help you avoid damaging the car.
It’s called Continuously Controlled Damping technology. While its primary function is is to provide the smoothest drive possible thanks to analysing what the steering, suspension and brakes are doing every two milliseconds, it can also adjust the amount of damper travel.
When it comes to potholes, Continuously Controlled Damping technology reduces the amount of travel into the pothole initially, and it won’t strike the opposite side of the pothole as harshly on exit.
That’s because the rear suspension can respond even faster than the front, with a signal from the front wheel providing a pre-warning to the rear wheel before it reaches the pothole. This all happens in a split second.
Guy Mathot, Ford Focus vehicle dynamics supervisor told us:
“Potholes are a problem that isn’t going away anytime soon, but with our advanced suspension technology for all-new Focus, we’ve been able to reduce their impact.”
- Power up with new engines
There’s a new range of advanced Ford engines to choose from. There’s EcoBoost petrol and EcoBlue diesel.
All meet the latest stringent Euro 6 emissions standards calculated using the World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP).
The brilliant multi-award-winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost is available in 85 PS, 100 PS and 125 PS, power outputs. The new 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine is offered with 150 PS and 182 PS.
There’s a new 1.5-litre EcoBlue diesel available in 95 PS and 120 PS outputs. The 2.0-litre EcoBlue engine delivers 150 PS.
For company car drivers, wanting the lowest CO2, then check out the emissions on the 1.5-litre EcoBlue engine which start from 91g/km.
Both petrol and diesel engines are supported by standard fuel-saving Auto Start-Stop for reduced running costs; there’s the choice of a slick-shifting six-speed manual and a new eight-speed automatic transmission.
- Heads up for first time HUD
For the first time, the all-new Ford Focus features a Head-up Display – or HUD for short. A HUD projects vital information in the driver’s line of vision on the windscreen without interrupting the driver’s view of the road.
What makes a HUD so good, is that usually you have to glance down to get information you need – such as satnav instructions – but with the HUD you don’t.
Ford’s Christof Kellerwessel, in charge of Electronic and Electrical Systems Engineering, said: “The system is not only amongst the brightest available, with 16 levels of adjustment, it is compatible with polarised sunglasses.”
Depending on the specification of your Focus, the configurable selection of projected information includes speed – the only content that is always present; Traffic Sign Recognition; ACC; navigation; Shift Indicator; entertainment system; and emergency notifications.
- New interior more spacious and comfortable
One area that Ford has concentrated on is the interior of the all-new Focus. There’s more comfort thanks to more space.
Sit down in the front seats and you’ll enjoy generous shoulder room of 1,421 millimetres, and instrument panel positioning is optimised for greater space. There’s also a narrower centre console – enabled by relocating switches and controls to the touchscreen – that features soft knee pads for increased comfort.
And because the new Focus has a longer wheelbase than previously, there’s greater space in the rear. Ford says that knee clearance is better by over 50 millimetres compared with the outgoing Focus, for a best-in-class 81 millimetres.
Amko Leenarts, Design Director for Ford, said:
“The rear window has been extended into the rear pillar to provide a wider view for rear passengers. It gives another pane of glass to the Focus for a more spacious feel.”
Add in the panoramic roof and the new Focus is flooded with natural light. I sat in the back of the car, and that extra window makes a significant difference – you feel much less hemmed in.
Both the hatch and the estate now also feature more boot space.
- Interior technology includes new FordPass Connect
There’s plenty to keep you connected within the interior of the new Focus, too.
For instance, there’s a wireless charging pad for mobile phones – so you can avoid the clutter of charging cables from USB ports. The pad automatically detects compatible devices to initiate charging.
Mobile phones and tablets can remain connected via Bluetooth to Ford’s SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system while using wireless charging.
SYNC 3 is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There’s an 8-inch colour touchscreen that can be operated using pinch and swipe gestures, or by using simple voice commands.
Further connectivity is provided by a 4G LTE WIFI hotspot. Up to 10 devices can be connected, so you can get WIFI on the move thanks to the introduction of FordPass Connect.
Apart from keeping you happy and moving with live traffic updates, it can help you kids stay happy by streaming content.
Plus there’s a vehicle status function to check the car for oil level and so on – so a glance at your smart phone rather than a set of oily fingers gets my vote any day.
Meanwhile, if you just want to sit back and drive to some music, then there’s high-end sounds thanks to a new B&O PLAY sound system. The 675 watt system features 10 speakers, including a 140 millimetre boot-mounted subwoofer and a mid-range speaker in the centre of the dashboard.
- Ford Co-Pilot360 technologies
For the first time in a family car this size, Ford has packed the all-new Focus with a range of assistance technologies. These are designed to make the driving experience more comfortable, less demanding and safer.
Ford Co-Pilot360 is a suite that helps to manage acceleration, braking, and even steering. On your behalf.
For example, there’s ACC with Stop & Go, Speed Sign Recognition and Lane-Centring.
ACC with Stop & Go helps you maintain a comfortable driving distance from vehicles ahead; it can also bring the Focus to a complete halt in stop-start traffic. It will also automatically pull away again if the stopping duration is less than 3 seconds.
Speed Sign Recognition can adjust the vehicle speed to within legal limits. It does this by monitoring the roadside and overhead gantries for speed signs in addition to using information from the on-board navigation system.
While Lane-Centring can reduce driving stress during long trips – such as business mileage up and down the motorways to see clients – by helping to keep the vehicle centred in its lane.
- Don’t like parking? Let Active Park Assist 2 do it for you
If you struggle getting into a parking space – and let’s face, many of us do – then the new Focus will be your saviour.
with Active Park Assist 2, you simply push a button and the Focus will carry out fully-automated parking manoeuvres into parallel and perpendicular parking spaces.
It can be enabled by the E-Shift function on the new eight-speed automatic gearbox. The system identifies suitable parking spaces and the driver can control vehicle motion by simply selecting neutral and holding down a single centre console-mounted button.
The Focus will then fully control forward and reverse gear selection, the amount of throttle needed as well as the braking and steering, and manoeuvre itself into spaces just 110 centimetres longer than the car. Sounds good? It even engages Park for you!
Less automated Active Park Assist is also available on manual versions.
- Stay safe
This is the safest, most advanced Focus ever – as you might expect. And it’s stuffed full of safety tech that’s all standard.
Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection technology detects people in or near the road ahead. It will automatically brake if it detects a potential collision. There is also new Post-Collision Braking technology. This helps to reduce the impact of a potential secondary collision.
Christof Kellerwessell explained:
“Post-Collision Braking reduces the kinetic energy of a collision. It can help the car avoid being deflected into oncoming traffic.
Kellerswessell added that he expected Ford to achieve a five-star safety rating for the all-new Focus.
- Why no SUV?
Ah, yes, no Focus SUV. Except there is, of course, and it’s called the Kuga.
Although the Kuga stands distinct from the Focus range, it offers the same SUV experience as the smaller EcoSport does to the Fiesta.
But more importantly, and again like the Fiesta, there is a new Ford Focus Active model.
A so-called ‘Crossover’ model, it features more rugged styling and a higher driving position, but without negating any of the driving dynamics and comfort from standard Focus.
The Active model comes in early 2019 and will be available in both five-door and estate car styles.