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Mercury C557
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2012 Ford Focus - America gets the good one—at long last : CarAndDriver
BY MARK GILLIES
January 2010
...One for All
Ford has now got its product development crews on the same page, so the next-generation Focus debuting at the Detroit auto show will be the same the world over. In the U.S., the car will be offered in early 2011 as a 2012 model in two variations: a sharp five-door hatchback and a good looking, if more conventional, four-door sedan. Compared with the current U.S. Focus, at 58.1 inches high, the new one is 0.5 inch lower. The overall length has gone up from 175.0 inches to 178.0, and the wheelbase grows from 102.9 inches to 104.2.

Both body styles initially will be powered here by a new, 2.0-liter direct-injected four-cylinder that makes 155 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque, up from the current car’s 143 hp and 136 lb-ft. The engine will feature variable valve timing on both the intake and exhaust cams and will be mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed dual-clutch automated manual gearbox that was co-developed with Getrag. Around the rest of the world, there will be a broader range of gas and diesel engines, including turbocharged and direct-injected EcoBoost four-bangers. Expect EcoBoost engines to make it into U.S. cars, too, including one with over 225 horsepower in a sporty version, perhaps wearing an ST or SVT badge. A 1.6-liter turbocharged EcoBoost four likely will be included as a more mass-market choice, as well, offering a more efficient and more powerful alternative to the naturally aspirated 2.0-liter.

Greater Refinement
Codenamed C346N, the new Focus was developed in Köln, Germany, by a multinational team. From the outset, it was designed to go on sale in all of Ford’s major markets and to be built in Spain, France, Russia, and China, as well as at Ford’s Wayne, Michigan, plant. Although dimensionally similar to the current European Focus—the track is slightly wider and the car is lower—the body in white is all-new, with 55 percent of it being made from high-strength steel, the highest proportion of any car in the American Ford lineup. As a result, the torsional stiffness is 25 percent higher than that of the current U.S-market car.

According to Jim Hughes, chief nameplate engineer for Focus in North America, “the platform architecture is similar to the current European Focus.” That means the new car has a multilink rear suspension and struts up front. However, the suspension attachment points have been altered, the front knuckle design has been changed, and the spring and shock tuning has been modified. Gunnar Herrmann, the vehicle line director for global C-segment vehicles at Ford, says that “the carryover on the platforms is effectively only seven percent.”

One aspect of the chassis architecture that is completely new is the steering. The car now has electric power steering in place of a hydraulic system, part of the company’s pursuit of better gas mileage. “Torque vectoring” has been added to the stability-control system, using the ABS to redistribute engine torque between the front wheels.

Herrmann says that Ford also placed a lot of emphasis on improving comfort levels. “Quietness gives a premium feel,” he says. To that end, the Focus team concentrated on reducing road, tire, and engine noise, vibration, and harshness. Wind noise at 80 mph is said to be lower than in a Honda Accord or a Toyota Camry.

High-Tech and Driver-Focused
Both the interior and exterior are clean-sheet designs. The exterior incorporates Ford’s so-called “Kinetic” styling language that also features on the upcoming Fiesta. Both Herrmann and Martin Smith, executive design director for Ford of Europe, say that adding the C-Max tall-roof mini-minivan allowed Ford “to make Focus a lower, sportier car.” The C-Max is designed to be a utilitarian family car with a high seating position, a role the original Focus had to fulfill. According to Smith, “the idea of the design was to create what is visually a driver’s car. The interior, too, is very driver-focused.”

It looks terrific inside, and Ford execs promise that the American version will have the same high-quality features and materials as the European car. We were shown the highest level trim—called Titanium in Europe—with elegant piano-black and aluminum finishes. The new car will be available with an eight-inch navigation screen that connects with the latest-generation Sync driver interface, to be called MyFord. This offers more voice-activated functionality, as well as engagement of the various features via either a touch screen or five-way, steering-wheel-mounted cell-phone-style rockers.

Moving Upscale—Is the U.S. Ready?
Various Ford officials have said that they believe people will be trading down to smaller cars in the U.S. in the future, especially since C-segment vehicles now feature so many luxury amenities. The new Focus, for instance, will be offered with rain-sensing wipers, a parallel-parking system, a blind-spot warning system, a backup camera, ambient lighting, push-button ignition, a stitched dashboard, and a sophisticated navigation system. Jim Hughes says that pricing will be held close to the current car’s $17,570 base price when it goes on sale. However, we can see a Focus easily creeping into the mid-to-high-$20K bracket by the time many of the desirable options are added.

Ford reckons that the sales between the sedan and hatchback will be split 60/40 in favor of the four-door. The big question over the new Focus, of course, is whether consumers are prepared to pay the money that this superior-looking small car will sticker for. While Mazda and Honda can command transaction prices that are close to full retail, Ford has traditionally been unable to do so with the Focus. For the Focus to work in the North American market, Ford is hoping that buyers are prepared to pay for what it believes is the new car’s inherent goodness.

 

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Mercury C557
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DYNAMIC NEXT-GENERATION FORD FOCUS DEBUTS - Media.FORD.com
  • Next-generation Ford Focus makes its worldwide debut at 2010 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit
  • Focus spearheads Ford’s new generation of global C-cars, all based on a common platform that will underpin up to 10 vehicles around the world and account for 2 million units of annual production by 2012
  • Stylish new range provides customers with class-leading new technologies, features and craftsmanship
  • New Focus targets exceptional fuel economy, and advances acclaimed levels of driving quality
  • New range will start production simultaneously in Europe and North America in late 2010 and go on sale early in 2011. Asia, Africa and South America production will follow

MUCH more...

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Global Focus minisite
NAIAS minisite
 

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The interior definaltely blows anything up to Astra and A4 out of the water.
 

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^ & I can't wait to see the colors available, ndwariga!!!
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here's a little detail I just noticed ... see the gas door??


it's tucked into the angle/arch of the tail light :cool: :cool: :cool:
That is just brilliant.
This is going to be a hot seller. I wonder how high the price will be though. Will there be a significant price gap between it and the Fiesta?
 

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In my humble opinion I believe Ford has a homerun here. Ford is on a roll lately, and this new Focus is going to keep it going.
 

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I've been reading all the auto blogs and enthusiast sites - the reaction to the new Focus is "HOME RUN!". Ford is really impressing these days - they aren't just rolling out new products - they are rolling out KICK ASS new products! That interior sets the bar so high in the segment. Honda and Toyota must be soiling themselves right now!
 

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love this car better than the current focus. I'll be getting my auto show tickets later this week but in the meantime i'll be going to fords remote Michigan Proving Grounds on monday to see if i can spot some out in the wild undergoing last minute testing
 

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I've been reading all the auto blogs and enthusiast sites - the reaction to the new Focus is "HOME RUN!". Ford is really impressing these days - they aren't just rolling out new products - they are rolling out KICK ASS new products! That interior sets the bar so high in the segment. Honda and Toyota must be soiling themselves right now!




You are right in many ways. Ford obviously has a home run. That said, Detroit is definately on a mission to drive the invaders out of America.

The top one will be coming as a Buick.

I hope to see a Mercury version of the focus.
 

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agreed ford is on a huge roll right now GM has a good interior in the cruze as well but the Focus completely blows that model out of the water when it comes to design and quality I bet the oriental three (Honda Toyota and Nissan) are shaking in there collective boots at the sight of whats rolling out of Detroit right now It's safe to say that the big three (especially ford) have stepped up there game
 

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agreed ford is on a huge roll right now GM has a good interior in the cruze as well but the Focus completely blows that model out of the water when it comes to design and quality I bet the oriental three (Honda Toyota and Nissan) are shaking in there collective boots at the sight of whats rolling out of Detroit right now It's safe to say that the big three (especially ford) have stepped up there game
I had the honor of sitting in a fully loaded two tone leather Cruze, with Navigation at the SD autoshow during the press showing.
To say the least, its a very nice place to be, stepping from it into a Lexus IS, I felt like a step down. Pictures do not do the Cruze justice. Its really looks upscale in person.
 

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Brilliant!

Fiesta can have the old Focus price range!

This Focus will get the higher $$ and compete with the Fusion for sales...until the next Fusion/Mondeo pushes that up in desirabilty and price.

Can Fiesta's grill get a little inspiration from the Focus? I know it can not be done before it hits the market, but maybe for the 2012 model year.
 
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