The higher-riding Ford Focus Active now appears set for an Australian debut, likely after the wider hatchback range rolls out in November.
According to a dealer bulletin distributed this month, the Focus Active will be listed above the Trend in the Focus line-up but below the Titanium, suggesting it'll be priced similarly to the ST Line ($28,990 hatch, $30,990 wagon). It rides 30mm higher than standard, but there's no word on all-wheel drive at this point.
As with the ST Line, prestige paint ($550), the Driver Assistance Pack ($1250), the Design Pack ($1800) and a panoramic sunroof ($2000) will likely be optional. The wider range gets autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist, hill-start assist, post-impact braking and niceties like an 8.0-inch infotainment system as standard.
Optioning the Driver Assistance Pack brings adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and evasive steering assist to the mix, while the Design Pack adds LED exterior lighting, scrolling indicators, auto high-beam and 18-inch alloys to the car.
Power in the jacked-up Active will likely come from a 1.5-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost engine making 134kW and 240Nm, hooked up to an eight-speed automatic transmission as standard. Although it's offered with four-cylinder petrol and diesel options overseas, the Focus range confirmed for Australia is three-cylinder only.
Ford has actually registered the Focus Active name Down Under, but the company hasn't confirmed any plans to offer the car locally. It did say, however, that the car won't be offered as part of the launch range if it's to make the journey.
We'd suggest the Active will arrive during the first quarter of 2019, after the hatchback range's November launch.
Rivals for the Active would likely be cars like the Subaru XV, Mazda CX-3 and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. It's not clear what would happen to the EcoSport, given it competes in a similar segment. It's a slow seller in Australia, but there's no word on whether it would remain or be dropped.