New 1.5-litre turbo petrol and diesel engines, retuned suspension and steering, and enhanced connectivity and driver assist features headline upgrades to the facelifted Ford Focus.
Leaked on Sunday ahead of its official public unveiling at next week’s Geneva motor show, the Focus mid-life update is cloaked by fresh styling, including the brand’s now-signature multi-slat trapezoidal grille and a redesigned instrument cluster, dashboard and centre stack.
Ford Australia says the updated Focus will arrive in local showrooms in 2015. CarAdvice believes it’s unlikely reach our shores before the middle of next year, with powertrains and specifications all still yet to be finalised.
Ford claims the 2015 Focus’ new drivetrains offer fuel economy gains of up to 19 per cent, though it’s yet to announce full consumption, performance and torque figures at this stage.
In Europe, the turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder EcoBoost petrol engine will be available in 110kW and 132kW outputs, while the new 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel will come in 70kW and 88kW tunes. Both will initially be available with a six-speed manual transmission, with six-speed automatic versions (dual-clutch for diesel) to follow in 2015.
Ford also promises 13 per cent efficiency gains from its carryover 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel model, which now produces 110kW (splitting the previously available 103kW and 120kW tunes).
All Focus variants equipped with torque-convertor or dual-clutch automatic transmissions will be available with steering wheel paddleshifters.
Increased front-end structural stiffness, revised suspension geometry and shock absorbers, a retuned electric steering system, increased lateral stiffness of suspension bushes relevant to the steering, and a new electronic stability control system all contribute to a dynamic package that Ford’s engineers say delivers a “more solid, responsive and connected-to-the-road feel”.
The Focus becomes the first Ford to offer automatic perpendicular parking, which joins the already available auto parallel parking system. Cross traffic alert, which warns drivers of approaching vehicles when reversing out of parking bays, and park-out assist, which operates the steering to guide drivers out of parallel parking spaces, also join the updated package.
The Focus’ collision avoidance auto braking system now operates at speeds up to 50km/h (up from 30km/h), while Ford has also introduced a pre-collision assist system to aid drivers with warnings and braking at higher speeds.
The existing adaptive cruise control system has been enhanced to allow drivers to set their preferred following distance from the car ahead.
The Focus also gains Ford’s MyKey technology, which allows owners to program a key used by younger drivers to set restrictions on top speed and stereo volume and disable the car if seatbelts are not being worn.
Ford’s overhauled ‘Sync 2’ connectivity system debuts in Europe in the facelifted Focus. It introduces an 8.0-inch touchscreen and advanced voice control for improved operation of audio, navigation, climate and smartphone functions. Pushing the voice control button and telling the car “I’m hungry” for example, will bring up a list of local restaurants and directions to them.
The updated Ford Focus debuts at the Geneva motor show on March 4.