Ford has celebrated the tenth anniversary of the global Focus nameplate with the release of a dynamic new model, the LV series Focus.
As seen on the XR5 Turbo, the LV series’ kinetic styling has now been extended across the Focus range incorporating a fresh new exterior and upgraded interior, along with some impressive new features and technologies.
Originally launched in Europe in 1998, Focus has become a global success story for Ford, and manufacturing sites have expanded to include North America, South America and Asia-Pacific.
The new Ford Focus for Australia will go on sale early in the second quarter, following its debut at the Melbourne International Motor Show, and will be available in five-door hatch and four-door sedan bodystyles across a revised model line-up.
The new LV-series Focus will be offered in four core models for the Australian market – CL, LX, TDCi and Zetec – with a fifth, turbo charged five cylinder model, the XR5 Turbo, sitting atop the pack.
The most influential visual enhancement to the new Ford Focus is its dramatic new front featuring ‘kinetic design’ elements.
Rather than just update a bumper or grille as many manufacturers do, Ford’s Asia-Pacific and Africa design team working in Australia took a ‘whole vehicle’ approach in applying kinetic design form language to the exterior.
Kinetic design elements such as the large trapezoidal opening below the bumperline, new bonnet with defined contours, and new upper grille (with larger Ford badge) dominate the new Focus front design.
It is more expressive, more athletic and more in keeping with the overall on-road character of new Focus. In all, the new Focus is visually confident and modern.
“We wanted to ensure that the new model was still recognisably a Focus, but was also identifiable as a new-generation Ford,” said Martin Smith, Ford of Europe’s Executive Director for Design. “I’m very happy with the results, as the new car has greater presence and stronger lines, which reinforce its driving dynamics credentials.”
Inside Ford’s new Focus, the emphasis is on improving the quality of materials and enhancing comfort levels.
The evidence is clear to see and feel. The black soft-touch dash pad, along with the soft-touch upper door trims, contrast beautifully against a tan coloured inner roof lining to visually lighten the Focus interior, while the dark dash greatly reduces windscreen reflection in bright sun conditions common in Australia.
The driver now sees large-face tachometer and speedometer set deeply into individual binnacles. Positioned above are small-face water temperature and fuel gauges, with each surrounded by a silver bezel.
Between the two large gauges is an LCD information screen displaying time, outside temperature, tripmeter and odometer. The LCD screen also displays menu options for distance to empty, average speed, and average fuel consumption.
A revised centre stack and redesigned window and mirror switches accompany new intuitive controls for air conditioning, heater and ventilation system. At night, the centre stack controls are illuminated in soft red light which is more soothing (versus the stark white of the previous generation Focus).
A new premium centre console has been designed with an emphasis on improved comfort and function. It features a moveable soft armrest which slides forward 80mm, two cup holders with butterfly lids, a coin holder and a card holder.
The 107kW 2.0-litre Duratec engine continues to power petrol Focus models – CL, LX and Zetec – and can be matched to either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.
In addition, Ford debuts its innovative six-speed PowerShift automatic transmission in Focus TDCi, in combination with the potent 100kW / 320Nm 2.0-litre Duratorq turbodiesel engine.
This drivetrain combination offers impressive fuel efficiency with no compromise to driving performance, thanks to its impressive torque output of 320Nm – peaking to 340Nm during brief overboost periods.
A key strength of the Ford Focus has always been its no-compromise approach to safety, which includes the Ford Intelligent Protection System. The new Focus maintains a robust list of standard active and passive safety features, including its rigid, reinforced passenger cell.
To enhance the overall Focus safety package, larger exterior side mirrors improve driver’s side visibility. The Focus range also benefits with a clever automatic hazard warning light activation system, which warns following drivers of emergency braking manoeuvres.
Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) safety technology is standard across the Focus range, while Focus LX, TDCi and Zetec models also offer interactive vehicle dynamics as standard equipment. This adds DSC, Traction Control and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) to assist the driver to maintain vehicle stability during all driving situations.
The Ford Focus has always been acclaimed for its driving quality, particularly its precise steering control and chassis balance, and the new range remains true to this heritage.
The new Focus TDCi with Duratorq turbodiesel engine introduces an all-new transmission system that combines impressive fuel efficiency and dynamics of a manual gearbox, with the driving ease of a quality automatic.
The new Ford PowerShift transmission is an innovative, six-speed, double-clutch automatic transmission available with the 2.0-litre Duratorq common rail turbodiesel engine. The six-speed PowerShift automatic is extremely refined, shifting smoothly through its six-speed gearing more efficiently than a conventional automatic transmission.
PowerShift convincingly demonstrates a high degree of driving comfort and agility in congested urban driving, as well as proving more fuel efficient than a conventional torque converter automatic transmission.
This efficiency is realised with a fuel consumption rating of 5.9L/100km (combined urban and extra urban according to ADR 81/01) from its 2.0-litre Duratorq turbodiesel engine, which leads the way against similarly-equipped small car competitors.
Pricing starts at $21,990 (RRP)