While Ford Australia is yet to confirm full details, the new Focus will see the inclusion of Ford's Sync voice recognition and Bluetooth connectivity system, as well as the advanced Active City Stop safety technology.
Ford's Active City Stop is a system borrowed from Swedish safety gurus Volvo – formerly owned by Ford – that will autonomously apply the brakes and reduce engine torque to avoid low-speed collisions or lessen their impact. The system operates at speeds up to 30km/h and relies on a lidar (Light Detection and Ranging) sensor to scan the area ahead of the vehicle for possible obstacles.
A rear-view camera and body-couloured side skirts come standard on Sport and Titanium models with full leather trim also now included in the top-of-the-range Titanium. The Sport (pictured top) also scores a new wheel design, but is now only available as a hatch, with the sedan variant of the Sport discontinued from the line-up.
Ford Australia's decision to relocate its Focus production source from Germany's Saarlouis plant to Rayong, Thailand, mirrors a similar move that saw production of the smaller Fiesta city car switch from Germany to Thailand in late 2010.
The Fiesta did take a step backwards in a couple of areas after its transition to Thai production, such as a soft-touch dash that was abandoned for a hard-plastic version, and a steering wheel that no longer featured reach adjustment.
Ford Australia has told CarAdvice the Focus will not have any similar negative changes as a result of the shift from German to Thai production. Ford has previously confirmed its high-performance Focus ST hot-hatch will remain German-sourced.
Ford is currently running out Focus MkI stock with offers on Ambiente and Trend models, with prices starting from $19,990 drive away.
Prices for the new Focus are expected to carry over from the existing line-up, which currently ranges from $21,990 – $36,590.