The updated 2015 Ford Focus made its Asia Pacific premiere this week at the company's Go Further 2020 event in Melbourne, some time out from its expected arrival in local showrooms.
The refreshed Focus, revealed globally earlier this year, features a revised front end design, incorporating Ford's new family grille and slimline headlights. The sporty ST model follows Ford's performance theme with a large honeycomb maw and blacked out airdams.
There are subtle changes at the rear too, with an updated hatch door and rear valance.
Focus will still be offered in five-door hatch and four-door sedan body styles, with the sharpened ST flagship still available as a hot-hatch only.
For the first time in Australia, the (non-ST) Focus range will be offered with Ford's multi award-winning EcoBoost technology, with a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder powerplant to be made available across the range in place of the current older 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre offerings.
In Europe, at least, the turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder EcoBoost petrol engine is available in 110kW and 132kW outputs. Australian figures are yet to be announced.
A revised 2.0-litre turbo-diesel TDCi engine, which has 110kW in Europe, will also be offered. The current car's Duratorq unit has 120kW/340Nm, but expect the new engine to bring economy improvements.
Under the skin, there are suspension and steering revisions to continue the Ford's focus on driver enjoyment.
Inside, Ford has responded to customer criticism and updated the centre-stack climate and audio controls to a much cleaner and intuitive layout. The ST carries over the neat triple gauge cluster on top of the dash.
Cabin materials and noise insulation have also been improved to offer a quieter, more upmarket experience.
Ergonomics are further improved by the inclusion of Ford's voice-activated SYNC2 infotainment system embedded in an eight-inch high resolution touch-screen.
In another first for Ford, the Advanced Park Assist feature of the 2015 Focus allows the car to guide drivers into reverse perpendicular as well as parallel parks.
Ford's new MyKey system will also make it's Focus debut, allowing owners to code specific car keys to restrict the vehicle's top speed, limit the audio volume or even totally disable the vehicle if seatbelts are not being worn.
The refreshed Ford Focus goes on sale in mid-2015, well after it made its global premiere in February 2014.
No doubt the company will be seeking to make inroads into Australia's top-selling segment. Ford has sold 14,015 Focus' this year, down 22.0 per cent. This is barely one-third the volume of the Mazda 3 and Toyota Corolla.