Ford claims that the new Focus is a proper clean-sheet-of-paper design that will provide a more rewarding drive than any of its rivals. It has even gone so far as to describe the new Focus as the “most innovative, dynamic and exciting Ford ever”. Yet despite the technological leaps forward, the starting price for the new model will actually be more than £2,000 less than the outgoing model.
There is a host of new technology available, more efficient engines and better use of space. The new Focus is the first car to be built on Ford’s new C2 platform that aims to enhance crash protection and deliver more interior space. Ford has spent €600 million on its production facility in Germany to prepare it for the new model and deliver higher levels of build quality.
UK model range kicks off at £17,930
The new Focus is available to order immediately from Ford dealers, with prices starting at £17,930 on-road for the entry model Focus Style hatch – more than £2,000 less than the model it replaces.
The range will comprise seven variants from launch. Starting with Style, the specifications rise through Zetec, ST-Line, ST-Line X, Titanium, Titanium X and Vignale.
As with other models in the Ford family, the range splits between more comfort-oriented models (Titanium and Titanium X) and more sport-oriented models (ST-Line and ST-Line X). The Vignale sits at the top of the tree, with several visual tweaks and additional luxuries to differentiate it from the rest of the range.
UK customers will be able to choose between five-door hatch and estate body styles, with no plans at this stage for a three-door hatch version. Some other markets will get a saloon version, but this will not be offered here.
Three petrol, two diesel engine choices
There will be five engine options available: a 1.0-litre petrol unit in three power outputs of 85hp, 100hp and 125hp, all driven through a six-speed manual gearbox; and a new 1.5-litre diesel engine available in 95hp or 120hp versions. The 120hp unit is also available with an equally-new eight-speed automatic transmission.
Ford claims fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions improvements of 10% across the range, thanks to a combination of improvements from engines, gearboxes and aerodynamics.
Advanced technologies to enhance safety and entertainment
The new Focus offers a wider range of advanced features than any Ford before it, including semi-autonomous driving options. Of particular interest to company car drivers will be a sophisticated (optional) adaptive cruise control system that can stop and start in traffic, follow speed limit changes and keep the car in its lane.
A head-up display will be offered for the first time on a Ford in Europe, and claims to be one of the largest and brightest systems on the market. In a bonus for many drivers (well, for me, anyway), it claims to be the first of its type to be compatible with polarised sunglasses.
There are also new or improved systems for autonomous parking, autonomous emergency braking with cyclist detection, blind spot warnings and evasive emergency steering assistance. Parents can also code a key for young drivers that will prevent phone calls, limit top speed, prevent deactivation of safety features, set a maximum stereo volume and even disable the stereo altogether if occupants are not wearing seatbelts.
The new Ford Focus is being unveiled today at an event in London, and we will be there to bring you all the information you need. Follow our Instagram account to see plenty of photos of every aspect of the car over the next couple of days as we explore it in detail.