|2015 Ford Focus. Click to enlarge.|
Ford revealed the redesigned 2015 Ford Focus at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry. The new Focus will make its auto show debut at Geneva next week. In addition to a number of styling and technological advances, the new Focus will offer 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine with a six-speed transmission—surpassing the fuel efficiency of the previous model. (Earlier post.)
The smallest engine in the company’s growing EcoBoost family will increase the choice for Ford customers in the United States, as Fiesta is already available with the 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine.
Ford first launched the Focus in 1998 and since then more than 12 million have been sold worldwide, including 6.9 million in Europe. The current Focus was confirmed last month as the world’s best-selling vehicle nameplate based on Ford’s analysis of the Polk registration data for the first nine months of 2013. Ford estimates Focus sales globally reached 1.1 million in 2013, including more than 300,000 in China, making it the best-selling passenger car in the fastest-growing new car market in the world.
In Europe, where it is already on five nameplates, the 1.0-liter EcoBoost accounts for 32% of sales of the current-generation Focus and 26% of Fiesta sales this year. Robust demand for the 1.0-liter in Europe has prompted Ford to double production capacity at its plant in Cologne, Germany, to more than 1,000 engines a day.
EcoBoost technology combines smaller-displacement engines with turbocharging, direct injection, variable valve timing and proprietary Ford software to bring customers outstanding performance and fuel economy. Ford EcoBoost engines can deliver significantly better fuel economy than larger-displacement gasoline engines.
For Europe, as announced last year, the Focus 1.0-liter EcoBoost will achieve fuel efficiency of 4.3 l/100 km (54.7 mpg US). Equipped with a specially calibrated 100 PS (99 hp, 74 kW) version of the 1.0L gasoline direct injection engine, the new Focus 1.0-liter EcoBoost also will feature Ford ECOnetic Technology including Auto-Start-Stop, Smart Regenerative Charging, Active Grille Shutter and Ford EcoMode that supports a more economical and environmentally friendly driving style.
For Europe, Ford said that the upgraded powertrain line-up for Europe also includes the new 1.5-liter EcoBoost gasoline engine and new 1.5-liter TDCi diesel engine; fuel economy improves by as much as 19% over current Focus.
The new Focus also includes the European debut of SYNC 2, Ford’s advanced in-car connectivity system that features high-resolution color touch screen and advanced voice control for easier access to audio, navigation, climate control and mobile phones
A package of sensors brings a new level of convenience for compact car customers by adding driver-assist technologies including a rearview camera and an available Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) and lane-keeping system.
Standard on Focus for the first time, the rearview camera will appear on either a 4.2-inch screen or the 8-inch screen that comes with MyFord Touch-equipped cars.
BLIS uses two multiple-beam radar modules, the same used with cross-traffic alert, which are packaged in the rear quarter panels, one on each side. The radar identifies when a vehicle enters the defined blind spot zone and illuminates an indicator light on the corresponding sideview mirror, providing a warning that a vehicle is approaching.
Should a Focus driver start to drift out of the current lane without a turn signal on, the available lane-keeping system provides a warning through a series of steering wheel vibrations that mimic a rumble strip. If the unintended lane departure is not corrected by the driver, the aid function of the system actively applies steering torque to help the driver direct the car back toward the center of the current lane.
New Focus is the first Ford globally to offer the new hands-free Perpendicular Parking technology, which helps drivers reverse into spaces side-to-side with other cars; Improved Active City Stop now works at speeds of up to 50 km/h (31 mph).
Focus drivers will also have access to new capabilities of new functions developers can integrate as they modify their apps to communicate with enhanced SYNC AppLink.
Android and iOS smartphone owners can download more than 60 AppLink-enabled apps from the Apple App Store and Android market.
New functions include:
Connected apps can access a variety of real-time vehicle data such as speed, acceleration, odometer and location information that can be used by the app to further customize and personalize the user experience. For example, access to the in-vehicle GPS signal can enable more precise and accurate location-based services than phone sensors.
More consistent user experience thanks to voice pass-through capability. This enables developers to use on-device or cloud-based voice-recognition systems to evaluate driver commands, meaning drivers can use the same set of voice commands to control an app when connected to the vehicle as they would use when not connected.
Notifications read aloud as a driver enters the car, with no need to touch the phone. Alerts are available any time a mobile device is connected to SYNC AppLink, even if the app is not currently active. This means a driver could get an alert about a traffic jam ahead while listening to the radio or using another app.
In addition to the many advancements in exterior styling, interior design, powertrain and technology, the new Focus will also benefit from suspension and chassis upgrades. These include a new shock absorber valve design providing improved interior quietness, a new electronic stability program system with less intrusion and improved comfort, and a change to the rear suspension to give drivers a more connected feel to the road.
The 2015 Ford Focus goes on sale in the second half of 2014.