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DEARBORN, Sept. 11, 2007 (FCN) -- The Ford Focus led Ford of Europe to a sales record in 2006, and the company intends to keep the Focus as a best-seller by introducing a new Focus with a fresh design and new technology at the Frankfurt International Motor Show.

"Focus is the heart of the Ford of Europe portfolio, and it remains the best-driving car in its segment," said John Fleming, president and CEO, Ford of Europe. "Now, Martin Smith's design team have given the car a serious 'kinetic design' makeover, transforming it's looks and ehancing its interior and features."

Smith, Ford of Europe's executive director, Design, believes the new Focus is the best looking Focus ever.

"Energy in Motion -- what Ford vehicle would better suit the Ford 'kinetic design' philosophy than the Focus?" Smith said. "After all, the Focus was a major factor in establishing Ford's excellent reputation for driving dynamics."

Ford of Europe's design team added "kinetic design" elements like new trapezoid grills, sleek side view and swept-back headlamps to the Focus to link it visually with such recent vehicles as the Mondeo and C-MAX. In the rear, the Focus gets newly shaped rear glass, new tail lamps and new bumper.

Inside the new Focus, redesigned instruments provide better legibility and the controls for new audio equipment and the two-zone air conditioning system were ergonomically improved.

On the Focus high series (optional on the Sport and Trend models) a new center console includes a movable armrest, four-liter capacity storage compartment and for rear passengers a 230 volt inverter and USB audio connection box.

The instrument panel and upper trims of the front doors are made of a new grained, soft-touch synthetic material. Focus now includes new colors, a variety of foil finishes and newly designed fabrics for seating and interior paneling.

The new Focus also includes an optional Ford Power Button. As long as the driver has the key with them in the car, the Focus communicates wirelessly with a micro-chip in the key to activate the ignition system. The car is started by pushing a button near the gear shifter twice.

Additional features include the Ford Easyfuel Capless Refuelling System, deflation detection warning system, a 230 volt power socket available in a new center console and new red LED tail lights.

The new Focus, however, represents more than a classy new look. Beginning in 2008, Ford's state-of-the-art PowerShift transmission will be available in the Focus mated to a 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi common rail turbo diesel. The PowerShift is a dual-clutch transmission combining the operation of an automatic transmission with dynamics and fuel efficiency of a manual.

When combined with the 2.0-litre diesel, the powertrain offers 10 percent better fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions compared to a conventional six-speed automatic. The powertrain will also be available on the C-MAX.

The Focus also becomes the first model to offer a low-emissions version in Ford of Europe's ECOnetic line. The Focus ECOnetic combines a 109 PS 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCI with a standard Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) and a new low-viscosity transmission oil developed by Ford's alliance partner BP, the Focus ECOnetic emits only 115 g/km of CO2. The current European Union proposal for CO2 emissions targets 130g/km for the average car fleet.

Adding to the Focus ECOnetic's performance are improved aerodynamics achieved by lowering the vehicle 10 millimeters, a standard aerodynamics kit and recalibration of the engine control module.

As an added benefit of the work done on the Focus ECOnetic model, Ford has modified all of its 1.6-litre TDCi variants to achieve 120 g/km CO2 emissions.

"The Ford Focus is very special to Ford of Europe," Fleming said. "When it was revealed in 1998, it represented a huge step forward of us in terms of style and desirability over its predecessor. It truly changed the perception of Ford for many customers and journalists alike. Our design and development teams have done a really great job and I'm proud to present the new Ford Focus."
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