For over 10 years now the Ford Focus has been at the top of the hatchback performers list. In response to the new improved releases from Vauxhall, Renault and Volkswagen the Focus looks to be coming back better than ever for late 2010/early 2011.
The First thing you notice from the pictures of this new car is that it is rather handsome. Fords ‘kinetic design’ has clearly worked wonders here as the new Focus looks better than ever. The Front end follows on from the most recent Fiesta which is never a bad thing. A sweeping front end with very striking headlights leads for a good first impression.
The lines down the side are beautifully flowing and lead to a new, higher rear end. It is expected that a panoramic glass roof will be available in time to complete the classy look of the new look family hatch.
Inside it is business as usual for Ford. Not quite the same finish that the Volkswagen Golf has but it certainly has a more interesting design. With a new 4 spoke, multi function steering wheel taking centre stage with beautifully well lit instruments behind giving the driver a very clear image.
The centre console follows on from the Fiesta’s slightly triangular theme. The vents are all slimmer and taller than normal and placed at angles, surrounding the computer. The computer is more than likely to be an optional extra. What will go here on the base model is yet to be seen.
Most of the engines have been completely renovated. The new EcoBoost engine system are dominating the range. Base models will be fitted with a 1 litre turbo offering up to 108bhp. Most will be fitted with the more powerful 1.6. The new turbocharged, direct injection engine will develop more power than the 2 litre (up to 178bhp) at a fraction of the emissions and fuel consumption. The 2 litre Duratec petrol should still be available. If providing this power comes at a reasonable price it should be a big seller. Not to mention a strong competitor for the Volkswagen 1.4 TSI engine and the Vauxhall 1.6 turbo which generate similar power with low emissions.
The diesel engines for the range have also been updated. They will now offer a 1.6 TDCi developing up to 128bhp and the flagship model, a 2 litre TDCi with up to 198bhp.
Finally the party piece of the Focus has always been the handling. Ford have responded to the increasing quality of it’s rivals by redesigning the cars subframes and have put in a new multi-link rear suspension set up. This should ensure that the Focus will maintain the edge over the rivals.
It is certainly an exciting car release and it is a shame that we must wait till the end of the year to see it. We will receive our first glimpse of the new shape in September with the release of the new Focus C-Max. This will be coupled with the brand new, larger version, aptly named the Grand C-Max. There will of course be a four door saloon version on release at the same time as the three or five door hatches. In time, and with any luck, there should be scope for a new ST version with the ever successful 2.5 turbo engine.