The next-generation Ford Focus recently makes its world debut at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, with what Ford claims will provide customer with more affordable technologies and features than ever in this segment, as well as detailed craftsmanship, outstanding fuel economy and a new standard for driving quality.
Both the four-door saloon and five-door hatchback body styles of the next-generation Focus are previewed prior to their production start for Europe and North America late in 2010. The new Focus will be nearly identical in all markets, with 80 per cent parts commonality around the world.
The new Ford Focus has been developed by a global team, led from Ford's European small and medium vehicle centre of excellence in Merkenich, near Cologne, Germany, with powertrain development led by a similar team at Ford's technical centre in Dunton, England. The vehicle has been engineered without compromise to meet all customer and legislative requirements of the major worldwide markets.
In developing the vehicle for global markets, the product team in Europe was able to call on the experience acquired from recent programs like the Ford Fiesta, and was supported by the expertise of vehicle and powertrain technology specialists located in Ford's engineering centre in Dearborn, Mich.
The two models (saloon and hatchback) share a sporty and dynamic character, marking the next evolution of Ford's acclaimed kinetic design form language. The car features a visually striking front end, sleek profile, a rising beltline and athletic stance. The dynamism is continued with the interior's etremely modern, cockpit-style dashboard, and has a centre console that wraps around the driver to provide easy access to the vehicle's major controls and display panels.
The all-new Focus plans to improve on the current model's driving qualities, targeting a blend of outstanding steering precision and road feedback with significantly improved refinement and ride control. Engineers have updated the innovative suspension concepts from prior models, developing optimised new designs for the "control blade" multilink rear suspension and the semi-isolated front and rear subframes. The chassis design is complemented by a completely new Electric Power Assist Steering system, which has been carefully tuned to deliver pure and precise responses at high speed while remaining light and maneuverable for parking.
All global customers will benefit from the same quality of dynamic performance in the new Focus. Identical chassis and suspension architecture is being used for all markets, except for minor regional tuning differences, such as local tyre specifications.
The new Focus also promises strides in reducing noise for a quieter cabin environment. This refinement complements the fresh new interior design and higher craftsmanship levels to create a premium feel akin to larger vehicles.
Production of the next-generation Ford Focus will begin simultaneously in Europe and North America in late 2010, with individual market launches starting early in 2011. Initial production will be concentrated at the Saarlouis (Germany), Michigan (United States) and Chongqing (China) Assembly Plants.
"The new Ford Focus is a clear demonstration that our ONE Ford strategy is providing global consumers with great products that harness the best of Ford Motor Company," said Alan Mulally, Ford's president and CEO.